my boss brings her dog to work and he pees by my desk

A reader writes:

I am lucky enough to have a job that I don’t hate and that pays well, and I’ve had it for about a year. Our office is dog-friendly, and my boss Christie brings in her dog, Ricky, once or twice a week.

Let me start by saying that I have never owned or lived with a dog, and my parents are both very allergic (somehow the gene skipped me, I guess). It’s therefore very difficult for me to discern negligence from just … mildly inadvisable dog parenting.

We frequently work late nights during quarter-end and Ricky will go eight to ten hours without being taken out. I’m the only one in my role, and though it was never stated, it became obvious after I tried to shoo Ricky out of my office once or twice that part of my job was dogsitting Ricky when he’s in because having him in her office is “distracting” for her. For the most part, I don’t mind. He’s cute and relatively quiet.

However, Ricky often has “accidents” by my desk in the late hours because Christie doesn’t want to take him out once they get in. I’m tired of him peeing next to me at approximately the stroke of midnight. Whenever it happens, Christie insists that he never pees on the carpet at home and scolds him because he should be able to hold it.

I’ve only had to clean it up twice, but I finally cracked last week and told her that I’d prefer it if she found a way for Ricky to not pee by my desk when he’s in. I feel that this is a perfectly reasonable request.

Further, the various dog people in my life have informed me that her treatment of him in the office combined with Ricky being at home for 10+ hours on days she’s in the office without him likely crosses the line of “mildly inadvisable dog parenting” and that if she’d just take him out more it would probably solve the problem. However, after I said something she became VERY upset that I “don’t want her dog around” and has been passive-aggressive about it (e.g. “I’d love to bring Ricky in Thursday but I guess you’d prefer he stay home”).

Do I have to apologize for asking her to keep her dog from peeing by my desk? Am I being unreasonable? I like the dog fine, but I’m not a dogsitter. I’m an accountant.

No, you do not need to apologize for not wanting her dog peeing by your desk.

And what Christie is doing is well over the line of “mildly inadvisable dog parenting” and is solidly into “neglectful” and even “kind of abusive” (particularly given that she’s scolding him for the size of his bladder). It’s also pretty solidly in “bad coworker” and “even worse boss” territory.

First of all, you should not need to be dog-sitting someone else’s dog at all. It’s not appropriate for her to expect that of you, particularly given that you’re an accountant, not her assistant. (It wouldn’t be appropriate for most assistants either, but there’s at least more leeway to get there if you squint, whereas there’s none in your case.) If she’s bringing him into work, she needs to be in charge of supervising him.

But if he’s in your office, she at least needs to make sure she’s taking him out often enough that he’s not peeing on your floor … and if he does pee on your floor, she absolutely needs to clean it up herself, not expect you to … and after the first accident, she damn well should have figured out she needs to be doing something differently, and it’s absurd that she’s not.

That’s before we even get to the scolding of him, which I’m not even going to address much because it fills me with rage, but suffice it say you don’t scold animals for normal bodily functions and she’s being an awful dog parent and awful human.

Anyway, you’re perfectly in the right.

And you would be perfectly in the right to ask her to keep Ricky in her office from now on — “now that he’s peed a few times, I’m finding it too distracting because I keep watching in case it’s about to happen again.” Or you could say, “He’s welcome to stay with me if you can take him out for a walk a few times during the day. But otherwise I can’t keep him in here.” (This one is actually in Ricky’s best interests because it might get him walks, if you’re willing to go this route.)

If she makes any more sulking comments about how you don’t want Ricky around, you can be direct about it: “I like Ricky fine. But I can’t have him peeing in my office, so I can only have him in here if you walk him on the days he’s here. Otherwise, you’re right that I’d rather have him stay with you.”

Same thing if she makes comments like “I’d love to bring Ricky in Thursday but I guess you’d prefer he stay home.” Respond with a cheerful, matter-of-fact, “It’s up to you! If you’re able to walk him a few times, I’m fine with him being here.” Or, “I don’t mind you bringing him in! I just don’t want him staying in my office unless you’re walking him a few times.”

If karma is a thing, Christie is going to end up in a job where she’s not allowed to use the bathroom for 10 hours a day.

Read an update to this letter here.

{ 478 comments… read them below }

  1. Ask a Manager* Post author

    A request not to get sidetracked on the issue of dogs at work in general, which has been covered many times here. (Here, if you’re interested: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) Thank you!

    1. anoning*

      Thank you. I hesitated before clicking on the comments because I didn’t want to be inundated with “no dogs at work!!!!” posts instead of, you know, helpful advice.

  2. sheworkshardforthemoney*

    Puppy pee pads. It doesn’t solve the whole issue of the dog, but they are a life saver especially since the dog will keep returning to where he peed before because the scent is there.

    1. fposte*

      Sure, but Christie isn’t going to buy them and the OP shouldn’t have to. The problem here isn’t the dog peeing, it’s the imposition on the OP.

      1. RUKiddingMe*

        This, exactly. OP needs to make it crystal clear also that she wont be doing dog walking duty either.

    2. Ricky’s BFF*

      Hi, LW here! Thank you for the suggestion. I have floated the idea before after a friend suggested it, but it was shut down. I feel like buying them out of my own pocket sets a bad precedent but I can’t claim I haven’t considered it. There’s no HR (it’s a small company).

      1. Lance*

        I’d definitely agree that would set a bad precedent; if anyone should be funding such a thing, it’s Christie. She should be the one dealing with that sort of cost, and any cost to the carpets from these accidents, without question.

        1. Falling Diphthong*

          This is a case where I agree with you as a moral abstraction, but would pony up the money for a pack of pee pads if it meant the practical effect would be not having a puddle of pee next to my desk.

          (WHY would you bring your dog to work and not take him outside every couple of hours? Would you hire a dog walker to come by and pat your dog but not take him outside?)

          1. Wendy Darling*

            Honest to goodness even taking the dog out ONCE during the work day would probably be sufficient unless it’s a super tiny dog, a puppy, or has a health issue. Maybe twice. I used to take my dog to work with me and I took him out at lunch and on my way to my car at the end of the day.

            Basically the problem here is that Christie is a horrible, negligent dog owner who is blaming LW and the dog for her negligence. I don’t know if that’s going to change, tbh, and I don’t know if LW is in a position where trying to do anything about it is a good idea — people get super defensive when their pet care is criticized. I like Alison’s scripts, but if it was me that’s as far as I’d be willing to go.

            PS LW if you want to, you can get a bottle of Nature’s Miracle to clean up by your desk, especially if there’s carpet — that will get rid of the pee smell and make it so it isn’t a Pee Magnet. However… this is 200% Not Your Job to deal with, and that stuff’s not cheap, so I am suggesting this purely as “if you want to spend a few bucks to clean up pee” suggestion. I myself hate sitting by pee more than I hate injustice so I’d probably deal with it myself, but I can also be a bit of a doormat.

            1. AnnaBananna*

              Yup. She reminds me of all those stories about Paris Hilton’s dog abuse over the years (seriously, did I just age myself by admitting that?).

              The things I wouldn’t be able to NOT say, were I in the LW’s shoes:
              WHY do you have a dog if you don’t even like it? If he’s too distracting, why do you insist he come to work with you? Find him a doggie daycare where he can be around other pups and people responsible enough (!!!) to understand how easy it is to let a dog out once in a while.

              This woman is horrible.

              1. valentine*

                I myself hate sitting by pee more than I hate injustice
                Having to sit by pee is an injustice.

            2. Mongrel*

              “PS LW if you want to, you can get a bottle of Nature’s Miracle to clean up by your desk, especially if there’s carpet — that will get rid of the pee smell and make it so it isn’t a Pee Magnet. ”

              We’ve been looking at getting a rescue cat and one of the people from the charity advised using diluted biological laundry detergent to get rid of the “This is a place to pee” smell. I presume that’d work for puppers are well.

          2. CmdrShepard4ever*

            Unfortunately Christie seems like the kind of owner that would not even hire a dog walker on the 10+ days when she is in the office.

        2. Le Sigh*

          So, she won’t take him for walks, she won’t buy pee pads, and then she yells at him or scolds him for doing something every *human* and *dog* has to do? How has this poor dog not gotten a UTI? Why does this woman even have a dog?

          I’m sorry, I have no advice. Your boss is inducing a level of rage right now I didn’t know I had.

          1. TootsNYC*

            this is giving me flashbacks of a child-abuse death, where the abusive unofficial foster mother would insist the child drink, then kick her when she couldn’t hold it in anymore.

            1. AnnaBananna*

              I remember being in elementary school and my teacher (Mrs. Fong, ugh still kinda hate her, honestly) wouldn’t let us use the restroom during class. I told my mom and she said that any time I had to go, get up and go and I wouldn’t get in trouble with her. Such a good mommy. I also have to share that Mrs Fong was the type of ‘adult’ that regularly made examples of other children. Her and I had serious beef all year. She’d send me to the principal but I think he understood my issue with her because I never ever got in trouble. The weird thing was that her husband was so incredibly kind. I don’t understand people who insist on working with kids/animals when they instrinsically don’t like them.


          2. I’m actually a squid*

            I’m right there with you. I’m not a big dog person (cats, on the other hand…) but I want to scoop up poor Rickie and give him a home where he can pee when he needs to. And scolding him afterwards!?! Does she understand this is a living creature with its own needs and ways of processing the world and not a toy? So much rage right now.

          3. Anonforthis*

            Right? I usually work in an office, but when I work from home, I take my dog out occasionally during the day. She’s pretty good about holding it for several hours, but if I can’t make it home on time, I make sure someone else can get there to let her out. This woman just sounds like she shouldn’t have a dog at all. Poor dog.

            1. Le Sigh*

              Yeah, this is part of why I don’t have a dog right now! I grew up with them and they’re living beings that require love and care. My work life means I can’t be home enough and I don’t have the money for dog walkers — so you know what? I haven’t gotten a dog!

              1. AnnaBananna*

                And dogs especially require a LOT of attention. I can’t even tell you how much it breaks my heart to leave mine to go anywhere (seriously the look on her face crushes my soul each time). Like, I know she’s just going to snooze while I’m gone but I feel like I’m doing actual damage.

                The fact that this …person…doesn’t understand what an honor it is to be given that kind of love and devotion, just proves what type of person she is. Maybe she ‘absorbed’ the dog from a past relationship but the dog wasn’t her idea. She’d be much better off working with a foster care system to find him a better forever home than one she can provide.

              2. Candace*

                Yup. This is why I have cats, though I like dogs too. Cats are fine alone for hours, and can use a litter box. I will get a dog when I retire and am home more.

          4. Emily K*

            Seriously. A dog that pees on the floor after 8+ hours without a potty break is not doing it because he’s belligerent or stupid, otherwise he’d be peeing indoors throughout the day every day. He’s clearly doing it because he can’t hold it anymore. Poor little guy :(

            Also, I would bet a not insignificant amount of money that he’s peeing somewhere in her house when he’s left alone that long, and she is either lying about it (because “it’s only happened once or twice” which doesn’t count) or she hasn’t found the spot he uses to pee (dogs who pee indoors will usually pick one spot to use consistently).

            1. Freddie*

              Agree. The poor dog needs to go and whether it is the owner or someone else, take the poor dog to the toilet and don’t even worry about who’s job it is to do that. Then focus on other issues. It’s really awful the dog has to hold for so long. You could float the idea of a dog walker coming by to take the dog for a walk some stage during the day to the owner. There are lots of kids looking to make pocket money they probably would love a job to walk the dog for a few bucks (maybe a fellow worker’s kid?). In all this I just feel so so sorry for the dog.

          5. Hey Nonnie*

            I’ll be honest — I would be trying to find someone who works locally in animal welfare to ask some anonymous questions regarding authority figures paying her a visit. It’s medically unhealthy to hold it for that long, for humans OR animals. And if she restricts potty time at home (does she hire a dog walker, or is he just stuck inside holding it all day at home too?), this poor dog never has a chance to take care of his biological needs.

            Most US jurisdictions will have animal abuse/neglect laws that would apply here. I would certainly make an effort to remain anonymous to avoid blowback at work, but restricting bathroom access is way over the line. I challenge HER to hold it all day long, every day, and see how long she lasts.

            1. HerNameWasLola*

              I agree. In addition to the scripts Allison provided, something needs to be done to address that this dog it is being neglected. It’s a difficult situation. I feel like Christie will automatically blame OP if she were to get a call or visit from a Humane Society type person. Blow back from it may jeopardize OP’s livelihood. It sounds like a call that needs to be made though. I’m sorry OP!

              1. AnnaBananna*

                Well, luckily they’re not the only two people who work there. ‘Someone else’ could have witnessed the urination and just kept it to themselves for all she knows.

      2. Pet Sitter*

        Ooh, I see. I agree that buying them could set a bad precedent. Sorry for my accidentally redundant comment below. :)

      3. Hey Karma, Over here.*

        Interviewer: So Ricky’s BFF, why are you leaving your current position?
        RBFF: I got pissed on.
        Interviewer: Well, I appreciate your candor, but the idiom is pissed off.
        RBFF: Oh no. No, no mistake. I got pissed ON. And it’s not idiom, it’s idiot, as in my boss is an idiot who brought her dog in for 12 hour days and left him in my office so she wouldn’t be distracted.
        Interviewer: …

      4. lnelson in Tysons*

        Buy them and then expense it or get some petty cash.
        Or start expensing the cleaning supplies. Maybe the hint will be made clear at some point that the dog and dog owner is causing problems. Granted it isn’t the dog’s fault that the owner is bad.

      5. BarManager*

        Puppy pee pads are awful and should not be used other than lining a box for very small babies who have no control. Your boss is being really neglectful and really terrible pet owner and unfortunately, it sounds like you’re being made to watch him suffer. I would have a really hard time with that if I were in your shoes, LW, and you have my empathy.

        1. Jules the 3rd*

          +1. Christie is an awful pet owner.

          OP, to set your expectations: My healthy young dog needs to walk 7am, noonish, 7pm, 11ish. So if you’re working a long day (9a to 10p), Christie needs to walk the dog at least 2x, usually right after a meal.

      6. Michaela Westen*

        I remember buying a pack of 50 at a couple years ago and they weren’t expensive.
        Maybe you could expense them and get reimbursed. :)
        Be sure to lock them in your desk so your boss doesn’t take them home!

      7. RUKiddingMe*

        Don’t spend one cent. Don’t let the dog stay in your office unless she is going to, and *does* walk it. You are not a dog sitter/walker. Make sure she understands that. Her dog, her responsibility, full stop.

      8. RUKiddingMe*

        Oh and make Christie clean up any accidents. Go get her, tell her Ricky peed and you need her to come clean it up…any time it happens.

    3. AVetStudent*

      I totally agree with all the comments that it’s bad pet-parenting and terrible for her to expect him to hold it for 10+ hours at a time. I second this pee pad suggestion. Obviously taking him out for a walk is the ideal but if for some reason there is a semi-legitimate reason that that would be difficult (i.e. you work on the 27th floor of a huge building or some other reason it’s a bit of a trek just to get outside at all) you could even suggest that the pee pads be the actual plan for his bathroom breaks and not just there in case of an accident. Lots of people who live in apartments and have dogs (usually small dogs) train them to relieve themselves on pee pads so they don’t have to make the trip outside every time, so that could be a solution here. That way you wouldn’t have to cover the whole office floor in case of an accident. Obviously this is more of something to suggest to Christie, you shouldn’t need to be training her dog for her, and that requires her recognizing that there’s an issue. But if she pushes back on walks because she doesn’t have time or it’s not feasible, it’s a suggestion that might make things more bearable for you (and Ricky!)

      1. Partly Cloudy*

        Pee pads aren’t magic. Ricky would still have to be trained to use them appropriately and what are the chances of that.

        I have so much rage over this letter. The flames on the side of my face.

        1. Pet Sitter*

          Just throwing this out there in case anyone reading comments is having a similar problem with their own pets: A lot of cats and dogs actually get the point right away. Some pee pads are made with an unnoticeable-to-humans attractant scent that makes dogs *want* to use them.

          This letter is super frustrating. There are so many easy solutions for the boss’s problem! None of them are letting the dog pee in OP’s space!

        2. TootsNYC*

          if he keeps peeing in the same spot, the chances of Ricky learning are pretty high, actually.

          The chances of his OWNER being the one to teach him are very, very low.

        3. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

          Me, too. The way she’s treating this dog is unconscionable and cruel. And I agree that although pee pads are an interim solution, they don’t really address the bigger problem (animal neglect and abuse).

          I know she’s unresponsive/hostile, but OP may want to suggest that Boss hire a dog walker if she’s not going to walk Ricky, herself. And if she continues to be sulky/dismissive, I would consider calling the local ASPCA. (I know that’s a nuclear, bridge-burning move, but Boss is engaged in nuclear, bridge-burning behavior.)

          1. TheFacelessOldWomanWhoSecretlyLivesinYour House*

            I want this owner seriously reported. This dog needs to relieve himself–we don’t ask people to not pee for 12+ hours! Op, your boss is a horrible, horrible person, cruel, neglectful, and her dog should be removed from her so-called care. There is no excuse for this abuse. None.

        4. Girl friday*

          Ricky has trained himself, so basically she would just need to put the pads over the spot. Otherwise he would use his spot *and* the pads.

    4. Pet Sitter*

      Yes! Pee pads with an attractant scent should solve the problem. Also, a deterrent on the spot where he has already peed, which is probably now marked to him as a Designated Pee Spot. It’s available if one searches for “dog marking deterrent” online.

      But this is very much the boss’s responsibility and not OP’s. OP should, at most, suggest that their boss buy these things.

    5. Dust Bunny*

      No, they do not need pee pads! They need to take the dog out!

      I doubt very much that Christie goes ten hours without using the restroom so I cannot imagine why she would think a dog can do that. If she’s too busy to do it (which is absurd) she needs to hire a dog walker.

      1. Pet Sitter*

        Pee pads should ideally be for emergencies only, but using them is better than continuing to let her dog pee in OP’s space.

        I have a feeling that walking the dog during the workday or hiring a dog walker/sitter might be beyond her grasp. :/

      2. Hey Karma, Over here.*

        Whenever anyone in the office sees boss standing up and moving, each one should say, “Oh! are you taking Ricky out now? I’m sure he’s so excited!”

        1. TootsNYC*

          I love this!

          But I wouldn’t say “he’s so excited,” I’d say, “I’m sure he’ll be glad to relieve the pressure on his poor bladder.”

            1. TootsNYC*

              and if I EVER saw her int he bathroom, I’d be saying, “Oh, I see you’re going potty–did Ricky get a chance to relieve the pressure on his little bladder? Now would be a good time. Poor doggy–he’s such a good boy.” And smile and leave.

              1. Marni*

                When my dog used to come into the office with me, he did have an accident the first week because I didn’t know his capacity. After that, I did what you’re suggesting – – are used my bladder as the timer. Every time I took a bathroom break, he got a bathroom break right after.

      3. On a pale mouse*

        I think Christie is hoping LW will offer to walk Ricky. Which LW should absolutely not do unless they have decided it would be a nice break and they are committed to doing it forever.

          1. Jules the 3rd*

            Christie would probably be fine if someone else does the work.

            But she is horrible, for sure.

            1. AnnaBananna*

              + 1 Yep, I’m sure Christie wouldn’t mind if everyone took care of her dog for her, as long as she got the benefit of being called a fur mommy. I’m really curious about her motivation for having the dog. She clearly doesn’t like him/dogs.

        1. Glitsy Gus*

          This was exactly what I was thinking, that Christy is kind of hoping that if it bugs LW so much, well, LW can take him out on their lunch break!

          Don’t do it. I mean, if you really loved hanging with the dog and wanted to I would say go for it, but you don’t want to so don’t go down that road even once.

        2. Star Nursery*

          This is exactly what I was thinking reading the letter. The Dog owner is hoping OP would be willing to walk the dog. Christie is selfish and not a very thoughtful dog owner. Of course the dog can’t be expected to just hold their bladder for a long day! It’s really really odd that Christie brings her dog to work and then let’s OP be in charge to watch the dog all day. I mean I like dogs so I wouldn’t mind having a dog hang out with me but I suspect the dog being in OP’s office all day is not helping Christie remember that get dog is at the office and needs care. Can you take the dog back after about awhile and leave the dog back with her owner before the end of the day? Oh sorry Christie I have a meeting. Sorry to hear the dog peed on your office. Guess you should plan to walk the dog throughout the day. They do have a limited size bladder and I’m sure you don’t want your dog to get a UTI, and to digress in potty training. I’m not sure that the OP wants to start walking the dog but obviously Chtistie is trying to let you take over dog care and doesn’t mind giving you extra hassle. Make sure if the dog has another accident that you tell Christie to come clean up after her dog. Don’t make it easier for her to ignore her dogs needs.

        3. wittyrepartee*

          Ricky and I would be taking LOOOOONG walks. We’d get ice cream. We’d do work at a cafe together. Ricky would come to a yoga class with me.

    6. Observer*

      Can we not go down the road of putting the responsibility on the person who is essentially the victim here. If this were a real solution that would be one thing – bad but sometimes you do what you need to do to reduce a problem. But this really doesn’t do all that much for them.

      They are still dog sitting, and they are still going to have to deal with the reality that there is a distracted and upset dog sitting next to their desk and when that poor dog eventually pees, they are STILL going to have to deal with it.

      1. SignalLost*

        Agreed. I get that this is solving the immediate problem, but the real problem is Christie’s lack of pet ownership interest/enthusiasm/skill/knowledge/what have you. Solving her problem for her is in no one’s best interest; it’ll just reinforce terrible behaviour she doesn’t have to be accountable for.

      2. pleaset*

        Yeah. I think the only responsibility of the OP is to be truthful and not get rolled over to “agree” to this nonsense. AAM’s scripts are good.

    7. Anonymous16*

      Yes, pee pads. And then when Ricky uses one, throw it away in Christie’s trash can.

    8. EddieSherbert*

      Ummmm I wouldn’t want the dog peeing in my office whether or not there are potty pads? Still gross.

      1. DaffyDuck*

        Yes, but MUCH easier to throw away a pee pad than clean the carpet. Less smell also.

    9. Judy Johnsen*

      If the dog eats more canned food, or someone mixes water with his dry food, and cuts down on snacks, this will help a lot. But yes, more walks, and puppy pads.

    10. smoke tree*

      I would be pretty tempted to just take Ricky out myself, because I’d feel bad for him. I realize this isn’t the LW’s responsibility any more than the rest of it, and she may be uncomfortable walking a dog since she doesn’t have much dog experience, and who knows, maybe Christie would get mad at her for that, too. But I still feel bad for Ricky. It’s not his fault Christie sucks.

      1. Matilda Jefferies*

        I’d be tempted to take Ricky for a walk to my house, and keep him there forever, and love him and squeeze him and take him for walks and pee breaks as much as he wants. Poor pup. :(

      2. Glitsy Gus*

        Honestly, I would recommend LW not do that simply because if they do it once, and things are better, then it’ll become an expectation right quick. Christie will “just love how much they get along” and “not want to take the break time away” from LW. So now LW has a new task they never wanted and if they try to stop there will just be more passive aggressiveness to deal with.

        That or she’ll flip her lid. Neither option is good for LW.

  3. Animal shelter volunteer*

    Not taking your dog out to pee in a reasonable time period and then scolding the dog for peeing after TEN HOURS is animal abuse. I may be a crazy animal lady but I would be having words with animal services.

    1. Mobuy*

      Yeah…animal services isn’t going to do anything because someone scolded her dog after he peed inside. Even if it hadn’t had a walk in 10 hours. They have real abuse and problem animals to deal with.

      1. Aveline*

        This is abusive. It may not be as serious as hitting him or not feeding him.

        But it’s still abusive.

        Let’s at least all be clear in that.

        Toileting, eating, and sleeping are basic functions all mammals share. Not allowing a dog to use the bathroom at reasonable intervals is abusive.

        We have zero issue saying that forcing a human to hold it 10 hours was abusive. Why is it any less so when it’s a dog?

        I agree that animal control won’t do anything, but pleas let’s not soft pedal this.

        1. Jamie*

          I agree. It’s both physically uncomfortable for him as well as emotionally abusive because he’s trying so hard to hold it and dogs want to please…being scolded for things beyond their control is just so wrong.

          1. valentine*

            animal services isn’t going to do anything
            Let OP find that out for herself. Why discourage reporting?

            1. Mobuy*

              Because they have real things to do. Also, why are we encouraging authorities to solve all our problems? Talk to your boss first to see if you can adult your way into a solution!

        2. Emi.*

          We also acknowledge that, as a general rule, the police are not going to get involved for a human either.

          1. WellRed*

            Yes, there’s a line between neglect and abuse whether its humans or animals. (as far as authorities are concerned).

        3. FFHP*

          You are 100% correct, Aveline.
          I am so sad for Ricky and by no means is this a reasonable expectation of OP, but if I was in OP’s shoes, as a dog lover, I would just take Ricky for a walk. OP may not be comfortable with this, though, not having much experience with dogs.
          However, even if OP took him for a walk at work, this does not help him the other days when he’s left at home for an unreasonable amount of time without the ability to use the bathroom (unless he’s being left in a fenced yard).

          1. Knork*

            An offer to take him for a walk is a nice thought, but that is a guarantee of “give an inch, she’ll take a mile.” Christie will only take it as permission to go on in her horrible behavior, and she’ll think the LW is condoning it.

            I love dogs, but I wouldn’t open that window.

          2. Observer*

            So, the OP should now become an unpaid dog-walker? The OP *has a job* and it is NOT “dog walker”. You can be sure that if the OP does not get their work done, Christie is NOT going to say “oh, that’s ok, I get you had your time taken up by my dog.” Nor is Christie going to be willing to pay overtime for OP’s services (if she was, she’d already have hired a dog walker!)

            I really feel bad for this dog and agree that Christie is being abusive. But this is NOT the OP’s problem to solve. Certainly, it’s unreasonable for them to wind up with this kind of responsibility.

          3. Creed Bratton*

            I’m just mad at the boss who works in a dog-friendly environment and STILL can’t give her dog the attention it needs. Which makes you wonder what Ricky’s home life is really like.

          4. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

            I think it’s really important not to transfer the burden of Ricky care to OP, who is already sharing more than their fair share. OP should not walk the dog, buy pee pads out of pocket, or dog-sit. These are all essential functions that the Boss needs to take on or hire someone to take on.

            I worked in an office where my boss brought his dog in. Boss was responsible for making sure the dog went out at least twice during the workday to relieve herself and run around, picking up her poop, and handling any dog-related problems in the office (e.g., she would sometimes vomit, he would always clean it up himself and forbade anyone else to do it), and ensuring she wasn’t distracting his reports if she was wandering about the office. She had a bed and kennel in his office. There are responsible ways to bring a dog to work, and OP’s Boss is not doing any of those things.

            1. Galloping Gargoyles*

              Spot on as usual, Consuela! As the owner of two dogs who go out a tremendous amount, and one who has an excited bladder that leaks when people come over, I have so much sympathy for poor Ricky! I think that if OP takes any action to fix the situation though it will actually make it worse. OP, I think AAM’s scripts are perfect and wish you much luck!

          5. TheFacelessOldWomanWhoSecretlyLivesinYour House*

            I’d do the same. I can’t see an animal suffer. And you bet, animal control would get a call. It’s neglect no matter how you slice it and they can talk to the owner.

      2. earl grey aficionado*

        I do think this crosses the line into “real abuse,” but I agree with you that animal services likely won’t do anything. My experience with them (reporting my animal-hoarding, -neglecting parent several times before they finally did something) has been either that they’re genuinely good people stretched too thin to act on stuff that’s not active beatings or dogfighting, or people with good intentions who nonetheless get on a bit of a power trip in determining when to act.

        Of course, YMMV and if OP gets even a hint that there’s more abuse going on here, they should probably make a report. Just know that while animal services tries to keep it anonymous, it may be clear the report came from you, and you should be prepared for the potential blowback.

        I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this, OP. Being in proximity to animal neglect and abuse (along with the constant smell of dog pee!) caused me real emotional harm and shredded my relationship with my parent. I imagine it’s tough with a boss relationship, too, because they control your livelihood and happiness at work. Hoping for a good resolution all around and that Ricky gets the care and love he deserves at the end of this.

      3. Aveline*

        Also, FYI, my vet is married to our local animal control officer. She has told me of cases where he’s issued citations for dogs crated more than 8 hours. Not for the restriction of movement, but because vets will tell you adult dogs should go no more than 8 hours without being given the chance to urinate. Any longer is both cruel and endangers the dogs health.

        So while I don’t think it likely that there’s any criminal animal abuse, it might still be a finable offensive in some jurisdictions.

        Nevertheless, I don’t think OP should go down that route.

        She should buy some pee pads, suggest to boss she walk the dog once, or perhaps suggest to boss she and other coworkers hire a dog walker to come in.

        1. ThatGirl*

          Our dog often goes longer than 8 hours without peeing (approx 9 hours when we’re at work, and overnight) but it’s a little different when he’s sleeping – and if we discovered he was having accidents because he couldn’t hold it for ~9 hours, we would absolutely hire a dog walker for mid-day, not scold him for needing to pee like a normal mammal.

          1. Yikes*

            It’s really not ok for a dog to regularly go through an entire workday without being able to relieve themselves, and you should hire a dog walker. But I do agree that overnight is different, particularly because they can wake you up and ask to be taken out if need be.

            1. ThatGirl*

              We’ve had him for five years, I think we’d know by now if it were a problem, but thank you for the feedback :)

        2. Jules the 3rd*

          So, knowing that some officers will actually ticket for this, why don’t you think OP should go that route? (Serious question)

          I ask because I see your suggestion as shifting responsibility from the owner, where it belongs, to the rest of the office. That suggestion doesn’t seem to be effective in solving all instances of the problem – Boss leaves dog unwalked at home, for example – and also unfair to the rest of the office. Having An Official tell Boss that it’s not ok, through a citation, seems like it has a better chance of improving the root cause of the problem.

          1. Mobuy*

            Because I don’t think The Authorities are there to solve what talking to the boss would solve. This is a minor problem. Tell your boss to take the dog outside. Use your words. Problem (likely) solved. Don’t try to make others solve your problem if haven’t even tried to solve it.

            1. TheFacelessOldWomanWhoSecretlyLivesinYour House*

              You consider abuse minor? So if boss doesn’t allow employees to urinate for over 10 hours, that’s ok?

            2. Zillah*

              The OP has tried to solve the problem by talking to her boss – and regardless, no one is suggesting that the OP talk to animal control about Ricky peeing near her desk. They’re suggesting that she talk to animal control about Ricky’s overall living conditions.

      4. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

        This is real animal abuse. The issue isn’t that she scolded her dog for peeing—the issue is that she’s neglecting the dog in ways that affect his ability to engage in normal functions. It’s shocking that Ricky hasn’t developed bladder stones/polyps or other UTI issues from the neglect.

        I vote for OP reporting this to Animal Services. Their responsiveness depends on the size of their jurisdiction and the kinds of issues they deal with. But making a report is useful, even if Animal Services doesn’t take action, because even busy departments are going to eventually respond with a citation or visit if they receive multiple reports from multiple people about the same owner.

        1. Hey Nonnie*

          On that note, I would think that others in the office may have noticed the issue, as well? Certainly dog pee has a rather pungent odor and yelling at him perhaps carried to others’ offices. OP might be able to feel out if there are other people willing to report it too.

          1. earl grey aficionado*

            This is a great idea to help protect OP from any blowback if Christie puts two and two together. The tough thing about anonymous reports is that even without naming names it can be crystal clear who called them in if the information is something the abuser knows that only the reporter would know. The more reports made, the more protection for each individual reporter.

            Maybe I’m being paranoid, but OP might want to have a job search on the back burner if they decide to report. People lash out when they get reported, and even if they never realize it was you or confront you directly, it can be very emotionally taxing to live in fear that they might.

    2. Wakeens Teapots LTD*

      I seriously need to say how appalled I am by Christie even though posting is doing more to vent my anger than help the OP. I take rescues, ship him to me. :(

      For the OP, Christie’s problem is not your problem. Wee pads are expensive and somebody has to dispose of them. Are you now the wee pad disposal squad?

      I’m outraged and it is a hill I would die on but that’s not your hill. Alison’s advice is excellent.

      1. valentine*

        Are you now the wee pad disposal squad?
        Yes. Why all the advice for OP/Ricky’s BFF to officially take over his care? She’s got an entirely different job to do and, even if she can do it splendidly whilst also dog-sitting for zero pay, she shouldn’t. (She shouldn’t do it for pay, either.)

        1. teclatrans*

          Because unless she white, she has no power to do anything other than protect hee office when the dog ends up seeing in it. (I mean, she should also set the boundaries Alison suggested, but she isn’t really in a position to enforce them without being ready to walk away.)

          1. Ricky’s BFF*

            Both of us are white, so though I agree that if I were a PoC or if Christie presented as male or otherwise held male privilege we would have a different dynamic, that’s not the case here.

            1. valentine*

              she has no power to do anything other than protect hee office when the dog ends up seeing in it.
              If she has a door, she can close it.

          2. Indigo a la mode*

            I suspect teclatrans meant “Unless she quits.” “White” seems like a swipe-text autocorrect fail.

      2. Creed Bratton*

        I’m thinking of all this terribly not helpful things I would do. Abducting Ricky and give him a loving home is one, peeing in the boss’ office myself is another (neither being useful for the OP).

        1. Anonny*

          I mean, same. Ricky needs a loving owner who will let him pee!

          (Personally, instead of pee’ing in the boss’s office, I’d get Ricky to pee on pads or old newspaper or something and then put those in the boss’s office. Return the stench of stale dog urine to whom it belongs!)

    3. RaccoonLady*

      The problem with animal control is that it takes a lot of resources to actually convict someone of neglect or abuse – it’s often easier to get people arrested for other criminal activities and then confiscate the animal.
      And even with the citation until neglect/abuse is proved the animal is still their property and legally belongs to them and just sits in animal control until the case is over in which case they either go back to owner or can be adopted out.

      I agree that this is *not* good dog owner behavior and is definitely neglect but whether or not animal control can actually do anything depends on where OP is from and how stretched thin they are and how willing they are to do something in this case.
      -Source, in vet school, currently taking a class on shelter medicine

      My pup can hold her pee an astonishingly long time because she doesn’t like to wake me up at night but we go out right before bed and right when I wake up…and if she ever did wake me up because she had to go I would take her out! and during the day she gets regular breaks!
      I would suggest OP suggesting to boss to take Ricky in for “incontinence” (he doesn’t have it, but maybe it would get her to take him in & then the vet could address it) but I fear that would just make boss yell at OP again. Ugh.

      1. EddieSherbert*

        I totally think it’s neglectful – but I’m positive no animal control is going to do anything about it.

        Honestly, I know many many many dog owners who think that leaving their dog alone for 9-12 hours a day and having them “hold it” is perfectly normal. It’s been normalized. People who come to adopt from my shelter are regularly SHOCKED by the idea that their brand new puppy can’t hold it all day, and that grown dogs shouldn’t be doing that either. Shocked.

        I think OP’s best bet is exactly what Alison said – very calmly and mildly suggesting her boss regularly takes her dog out to pee so he doesn’t pee inside if she wants him in the office. That’s a very hard stance to argue with or hold against someone without it being extremely obvious who is the “bad guy” here.

        1. Jules the 3rd*

          Wait, what? I thought the norm was 1 walk during the day, not ‘hold it 9 hrs’?! That’s awful. Those poor doggies.

          1. Anonny*

            I know my family dog growing up could hold it for that long, but we very rarely made her do so – maybe three or four times a year at most if we couldn’t get someone to look after her and we had to go out that long. (We had specialist appointments in hospitals a couple of hours away, that could take all day.)

            Christie is literally with her dog all day. She has no excuse. And given the amount of investment she’s willing to put in, she’d be better off with a cuddly toy.

  4. 42*

    What is Christie’s excuse for **not taking her dog out**? This is beyond ludicrous. I bet he’s peeing in other locations too, aside from your office. Does Christie have a boss?

    1. Shark Whisperer*

      Oh, agreed! If she has a boss, I think that boss would definitely want to know that the dog is damaging company property.

    2. Lance*

      Even better, what’s her excuse for not having him in her office because it’ll be ‘distracting’? So she gets to have the dog around (but not, from the sound of things, pay attention to them) but inflict all the distractions on others, what… out of the goodness of their hearts? Out of their love for dogs?

      Seriously, if you’re going to bring your dog in, the least you could do is take care of him literally at all!

      1. 42*

        …and the OP get heat because she doesn’t like **a dog peeing in her office**???

        Time to kick it up the food chain. Poor pup :-((

      2. Who Plays Backgammon?*

        Absolutely. And I have to say I part views with Allison re there being more leeway to dogcare being appropriate for assistants if you squint. Unless an “assistant” is hired with the understanding they are responsible for someone’s personal pet, this would be way out of line. (I’d love to see this topic thrown out for comment on Administrative “Professionals” Day. I can’t imagine anything that could make an employee feel less professional than being expected to deal with dog pee.)

    3. Midwest Writer*

      Yeah, I just cannot understand bringing your dog with you to work, so he isn’t alone at home all day, and then ignoring his basic needs. (Isn’t that a big reason to bring the dog along? So you can attend to doggie needs, like walks?)

      1. Cat Fan*

        Yeah, and I’ll bet that poor dog definitely pees in her house when she leaves him home for 10 hours alone. She just hasn’t figured it out yet or she’s not admitting it.

          1. Lora*

            This. I’ve had multiple rescue dogs that the foster parents SWORE this dog was 100% housebroken – who turned out to be housebroken in the sense that if the dog has constant access through a doggy door, it’s totally fine, but regularly scheduled walks, even very VERY frequently (as in, “dude, you were out literally ONE HOUR ago, really?”), the dog couldn’t hold it. Ended up re-training my weredogs at relatively late ages, and it took many months and a lot of puppy pads to get them even to sleep overnight without accidents.

    4. Psyche*

      Someone who doesn’t want to take their dog outside to pee once she gets in is someone who has no business owning a dog.

      1. Countess Boochie Flagrante*


        Honestly my read on Christie here is that she likes the idea of owning a dog a lot more than the reality of owning a dog.

      2. Liz*

        Thank you! I love and adore dogs. BUT, i do not have one because I live alone, and am gone at least 9 hours a day. Add to that having to pay a very large non-refundable fee to my complex, as well as $50 a month “pet rent” on top of the already expensive rent I pay. Nope. Let’s not forget the added expenses of vets, food, dog walker, doggie day car, pet sitter when i travel and so on.

        so as much as i would love to have one, my lifestyle is such that it would not be fair to the dog. My neighbor however, does have one, and he’s gone as much as I am, and the dog is crated as she has major separation anxiety and completely shredded and ripped up the carpet! I feel badly for her. while he’s not abusive, he loves her to death and she really is sweet, i don’t think he’s really IN a position where its fair to the dog.

        1. LaDeeDa*

          When I was single and was working crazy crazy long hours I went home every day at lunch to give my two tiny dogs a potty break and to cuddle them and play with them, even though they could wait until afternoon/evening. Also, I paid the teenager down the street to come to my house and spend from 3:30-6:30 at my house, she would let the dogs out, play with them, cuddle them and give them some attention that I couldn’t give, all while watching TV or doing her homework. I felt so guilty about those six months, but I did what I had to do to make sure they weren’t neglected.

        2. GreyjoyGardens*

          I’m a cat person, and one thing that is great about cats is that you CAN leave them alone all day as long as they have food, water, and clean litter boxes. Mine mostly like to sleep and birdwatch.

          Dogs are great, too, but I know I do not have the time, patience or energy to give to one right now nor the money to hire an army of helpers.

      3. OhGee*

        THIS. I lived with a person like this during grad school – she had a dog, we had classes all day, and for several months she had rehearsals 5 nights a week. She never went home to take care of the dog, so it was often alone 12+ hours a day. I started walking it when I got home from class because I felt bad for it (and it made my life miserable because the poor thing needed to get out, do its business, and play). She absolutely had the money to pay a dog walker, and we lived less than a mile from our building on campus, so it was not impossible for her to come home between her last class and rehearsal. After school, she finally rehomed the dog to friends who could give it the attention it needed. PEOPLE LIKE THIS SHOULD NOT HAVE DOGS.

        1. wittyrepartee*

          If she needed a pet, she should have gotten two cats. They poo in a box, and with two they have a buddy to play with. Ask me how many cats I have (and I’m home a lot more than her).

      4. Kelly*

        I have two dogs, and is was fine while i was married. Then my husband turned into a monster and i had to escape and became a single dog mom.

        So i assembled an army. Dog walker, doggy daycare, friends who love them. I did what i had to do. I’m responsible for them. That’s the deal. It’s expensive. It’s akso necessary.

        1. Former Admin turned Project Manager*

          We were dogless for seven years after our old pooch got put to sleep because we decided it wasn’t fair to have dog when we had a limited time at home (old dog was not crated; he had free reign of the yard and a doghouse, but it was still a long day). It wasn’t until my eldest children had schedules that had one or both of them home by 2:30 every day that we considered having a pet again. They come out of their crate and get some yard time as well as play time with the kiddos, then rest so they can go bat guano crazy a few hours later when I come home from work. It’s a system that works for everyone.

    5. Ricky’s BFF*

      For what it’s worth, I’m glad Ricky is in the office with me when he’s in if the alternative is at her home alone. I play with him on breaks and he gets some stimulation from that. He also is very well-trained and does let me know when he wants to go out. I just can’t take him myself (lack of leash and doggie bags, etc). Christie is very close to the big boss and they’ve been working together for over ten years. It’s not ideal, but I get my work done anyway.

      1. LaDeeDa*

        Can’t you ask for his leash and doggy bags? Heck, I’d buy a cheap leash and bring in some grocery bags. I KNOW it isn’t your responsibility, but I wouldn’t be able to sit by and watch the poor guy suffer.

        1. Peter the Bubblehead*

          If OP starts taking on the responsibility of Ricky’s potty breaks, it will become ‘her permanent responsibility’ in Christie’s mind. Don’t start doing it yourself. If Ricky is giving signals that he needs to go out, bring it to Christie’s attention (no matter what she is doing or how busy she is) to take care of her own dog herself!!!

          1. valentine*

            If Ricky is giving signals that he needs to go out, bring it to Christie’s attention
            I wouldn’t do even this much minding.

            1. LaDeeDa*

              I disagree. If the OP has not said Ricky can’t be there, then she has basically accepted the responsibility of looking out for him… the least she can do is call the owner and tell her Ricky is asking to go out…

              1. Jules the 3rd*

                I agree with LaDeeDa. Notifying dog owner is something worth doing.

                I wfh a couple days a week, and the dog sits in my office much of the day. However, my self-employed husband is the Official Dog Carer while the kid’s in school. While I *prefer* that he come get her at scheduled times, I think it’s reasonable for me to give him a heads up when she starts needing to go.

                1. valentine*

                  You’re partners. Would you expect your husband’s employee to alert him to his dog’s needs or to do her work in peace? How long before OP/Ricky’s BFF’s work suffers as she does more and more for him? If it were childcare, wouldn’t you tell her not to go down the slippery slope? The advice to couples’-therapy OP wasn’t to keep secretly baby-sitting her boss’ infant great-grandchild, and she was a personal assistant.

          2. Marthooh*

            I agree. When Rickie makes potty-break noises, take him to Christie’s office, say “Rickie needs to go out now!”, and leave him there.

            1. Glitsy Gus*

              Yes! This is the time to put him in her office, and that’s a great way to do it. Keep it light and friendly using Allison’s patented, “Of course you would want to know about this, so I’m filling you in” cheery tone, drop him off and walk away quickly.

              It isn’t perfect, but it’s probably the best option after you have the talk Allison mentioned in her original response.

        2. Mockingdragon*

          Ugh, I know…it’s terrible advice, because it’s NOT OP’s responsibility, and they shouldn’t be doing it, but I’d break down :( This is a hard and unfair situation and you are not being unreasonable, OP.

          1. EddieSherbert*

            It’s okay, I would too.

            But I would first bring it her attention, ask if she plans to take her dog out, and then dramatically askifor the leash “so he doesn’t pee in my office again.”

            1. Jules the 3rd*

              yeah, me too. I’d walk him, but every time, I would make it a hassle for Boss, and remind her of the Unacceptable Option.

          2. AvonLady Barksdale*

            So would I. I couldn’t sit there without taking him out, no matter how strongly I felt about the principle.

      2. On a pale mouse*

        Does the big boss know this is going on? If they’re that close it may not work to go directly to the big boss, but maybe you can find a way to mention it in a pretend joking manner? (I say pretend because there’s nothing actually funny about it.) Like in front of big boss, “Hey, Christie, Ricky’s on a roll, he’s peed on my carpet at 11:30 on the dot every night this week!”

        1. MarfisaTheLibrarian*

          Can Rickie’s BFF walk into a meeting of Christie and big boss and say that?

        2. Jules the 3rd*

          ‘he’s peed on *the office* carpet’ – tie it to damage to the company’s belongings.

      3. boredatwork*

        It’s really not fair that she’s doing this to you, but honestly, it it were me, I’d just ask for the leash and take him outside. Given that you’re playing with him and he’s letting YOU know he needs to go potty, you either need to pull a hard stop on Ricky in your office or accept the inevitable (and walk him).

        I’m basing this partially on the fact that she’s been very passive aggressive with you already, and dog people tend to be a little intense.

      4. Cucumberzucchini*

        I would take the dog out myself. In any other situation I wouldn’t take on a coworker’s personal chores who is perfectly capable of handling them. However, the poor sweet dog would make the exception for me. At least he’d have someone being nice to him a couple of times a week. Who knows what happens at home. I would just bring in a cheapo leash and grocery store bags like someone else mentioned. Again, you absolutely shouldn’t have to do it. It’s crazy. But if you have a few minutes to spare it would be really nice of you to take him out.

      5. Hey Nonnie*

        “Christie is very close to the big boss…”

        I would be veeeeeerrrry tempted to bring Ricky to Big Boss’s office every day:

        “Hey, Christie is busy and can’t be distracted by her dog, and I need to finish the Johnson account TODAY so here, Ricky can stay with you!”

        After the first pee incident Christie would get a come-to-jesus talking to. ;)

      6. Bagpuss*

        Can you take him to Christie when he lets you know he needs to go out? £Hey Christie, I think Ricky needs to go out” close the door so Ricky is in Christie’s office and close your door so he can’t come into yours.

        It doesn’t solve the problem of her scolding him or not looking after her own dog, but at least he would be peeing in her office not yours, and it might give her ore motivation to meet her dogs basic needs.

        Alternatively as it is a dog-friendly office, is there anyone else who brings a dog in? Would it be possible to speak to them to explain the situation and ask whether they would be willing to take Rocky out when they walk their own dog, so he gets taken out? It shouldn’t be your responsibility to organise or theirs to deal with Christie’s dog , but it might make life easier for you and for Ricky,

      7. wittyrepartee*

        I think it might be worth going to the big boss in a non-confrontational way. Explain the situation, say you understand they’re close, and that you’re hoping for advice as to how to talk to her about what’s clearly a sensitive issue.

      8. Seeking Second Childhood*

        He comes and says it’s walkies time? Call your boss and say it’s walkies time! Bonus if you can bring Ricky to her when she’s WITH Big Boss . Because it’s a dog friendly office, an f that comes from on high.
        Oh dear, you don’t think Christie adopted a dog just to buddy up with upper management do you?

    6. Peter the Bubblehead*

      I get the impression from the letter that once Christie is in the office with her dog, to her it means work and only work and she never walks the dog?? And then NOT wanting your own dog in your own office because it’s a ‘distraction’ from work?? What is the point in bringing your dog to work if you aren’t going to take care of its needs while it’s there, particularly on days when you will be working more than the standard 8 hour shift?!?
      Christy needs to put Ricky up for adoption and go buy herself a cat so she doesn’t have to ‘distract’ herself with its care. (Though it wouldn’t surprise me for Christie to then expect the OP to go to her home and clean the litter box for her.)

      1. Hey Nonnie*

        Don’t let Christie have a cat, either. They also have emotional and biological needs and are no more decorative objects than dogs are. If she won’t play with her dog (or even let him pee), she won’t play with a cat.

        1. TheFacelessOldWomanWhoSecretlyLivesinYour House*

          Eactly. Cats need just as much as dogs, just in different ways. (Cats are like teen agers, dogs toddlers.)

  5. rubyrose*

    I would love to have a talk with Christie. She is so in the wrong, at so many level.
    In addition to what Alison said, any chance you can subtly bring it to the attention of her boss? Maintenance? HR?
    Charge pee pads to the company?

    1. fogharty*

      I was going to ask if there was a building manager, or landlord, or someone who might be interested in the puddles of pee on the carpet.

      I have dogs and if something comes up where they’ll go for five-six hours without me being able to get home to let them out, I take them to a doggy day care facility. When I worked full time, I went home every lunch hour to let them out.

  6. merp*

    This is not a helpful comment, I’m just…. oh I’m so mad. That poor dog, being yelled at.

    1. HarvestKaleSlaw*

      I just.. yeah…. gah! Not helpful with the angry words. Hulk smash!

      But also – I love dogs. But I work too much, commute too far, and live in an apartment, so I don’t get to have a dog. It wouldn’t be fair to the dog, and they wouldn’t have a good life. It bums me out, and I’m always searching for some kind of loophole – trying to convince myself that maybe I could make it work and then having to remind myself that a bored and isolated dog would be very unhappy.

      Then you get people like this.

      1. Flower*

        I have been doing the same thing for similar reasons (trying to find a loophole and eventually deciding it wouldn’t be fair to the pet) for almost two years, with dogs and various other animals I’d love to keep as pets.

        You can’t just get a pet because you want it and then not care for it. Honestly, the fact that I can’t currently reasonably care for a pet is why I collect house plants, particularly those that don’t need daily care.

        1. Future Homesteader*

          Solidarity! It took me and my husband ten years of longing for a dog to finally get to a place where we could have one, and it’s worth the wait. You two will be blessed with wonderful, happy, loving pups when you are finally able, in no small part because your dogs will be well taken-care of.

          Ummm, as to the letter…Christie is a terrible dog owner and it’s making her a terrible boss (although with the passive-aggression, I’m wondering if there are other issues, too). This sucks, OP, but I think the best thing you can do is stand up for yourself, and in the process, hopefully get her to rethink her treatment of that pup.

        2. Jules the 3rd*

          I keep wondering if there’s some way to do a dog-sharing service with someone who works different shifts.

          1. Environmental Compliance*

            I used to do volunteer work at animal shelters (until work got hectic). Benefit to me of playing with doggos, good anxiety relief, benefit to doggos of playtime, walk time, and human interactions.

          2. Seeking Second Childhood*

            Wouldn’t that be a neat idea!?
            But would the dog like it or be confused & stressed?

          3. New Jack Karyn*

            I have friends who did this for years. The single woman had the German Shepherd overnight; Dad would swing by and pick him up for a morning run. Work-from-home Mom had him in the afternoons, single woman picked him up at dinner time.

            But they were close friends who had each others’ house keys and were in each others’ pockets all the time anyway. It worked for this particular dog, but I can’t speak to whether it’s a good idea in general.

      2. Liz*

        that is exactly why I don’t have one either. but I manage to get my “dog fix” in. I dog sit for friends and co-workers. its ideal; i get to live in their house, play and hang with the dog, but not have the permanent responsibility. added bonus is i dont’ ahve a W/D so i can do laundry at my leisure too! i’m actually leaving tomrorow for the first of two back to back doggie jobs.

      3. M&Ms fix lots of Problems*

        This is why I have fish….my family and I love animals, but we are just way, way too busy right now to do all the care work that any dog or cat would need.
        My fish need to eat every two days, and a water change every two months. I have that time in my schedule, and the fish are bright and colorful (and the sounds of moving water are very soothing).

      4. EddieSherbert*

        We have a dogwalker 3x a week, doggy daycare 1x a week, and I work from home one day! Which works greats… but is definitely not the answer for everyone (and my family definitely thinks I’m nuts for how much money goes into pet care) ;)

        But I also lived alone and 1 mile from my job when I adopted him from the shelter – and these accommodations were the only reason I agreed to move in with my SO when he got a new job further away from mine!

      5. Foreign Octopus*

        Honestly, this does concern me if I ever have to go back and work in an office.

        I adopted a cat two years ago because I work from home and I’m there all the time but I worry about her if I’m gone for more than a morning/afternoon. I don’t want her to be alone at home for an entire work day.

        1. Jules the 3rd*

          Cats are *really* different, especially once they’re past kittenhood. Get her a climbing stand, scoop the box every morning, and she’ll be fine. Cats enjoy your company, but dogs *need* it.
          – signed, owner of 8 cats (and 1 dog) over 20 years

          1. Foreign Octopus*

            That’s actually very comforting, thank you.

            And it wasn’t 8 cats at once, was it? Because kudos to you if it was but that just seems like a lot and I’m wondering how in the hades you got any work done.

            1. Clorinda*

              If kitty seems really lonely, most grown cats will adapt well to a kitten, and two cats keep each other busy. Just make sure you adopt kitty #2 during a vacation so you can be there for both during the adjustment period. (Don’t try to bring in a second grown cat, though.)
              Signed, four cats at once, and they all get along fine.

              1. Harper the Other One*

                Even bringing in a grown cat can usually work, but the adjustment period is much longer (and usually involves separation and supervised introductions for longer than a typical vacation.)

              2. wittyrepartee*

                I have two adult cats that were introduced as young adults. They related like grouchy siblings, but they’re really good for each other. They play, they get into scraps, they watch birds together, they nap near but not too near each other (there must be a pillow or lumpy blanket in between).

          2. TheFacelessOldWomanWhoSecretlyLivesinYour House*

            Cats need attention as well. Cats are teen agers while dogs are toddlers. While many cats like being solo cats, many also get lonely and would love a friend.

        2. WS*

          It really depends on the cat. Some cats are super happy to have alone time and will seek it out even if people are around. Some cats always want someone there – I had two cats and one of them passed away, and the survivor was terribly lonely and clingy, so we became a two cat household again.

    2. Tinybutfierce*

      Same. It took my rescue dog the LONGEST time to be house-trained (p sure his previous owner left him outside 100% of the time and forget about any training at all) and was it frustrating as hell sometimes? Sure. But I can’t be mad at a living thing for just doing a necessary bodily function. It mostly just meant he got extra special treats when he actually did go outside. :)

    3. sunny-dee*

      This, I am furious. I work from home. Sometimes, insane hours, like 18 hours a day (I’ve cut back now that I’m wiser) When I lived in an apartment, I took my dog for a walk a minimum of 5 times a day, no matter how busy I was. When I finally got a house, I made sure I let her out and walked around with her a little, if I didn’t have time for a walk. And I had a dog who was pathologically housebroken (no idea how) and would got 14 hours without making a mess. I made sure she never had to do that. (I realized the 14 hour thing when I had food poisoning once and was sick and unable to walk her for awhile. I dragged myself down three flights of stairs when I realized she just wouldn’t go on the carpet, and kept dragging myself every 3-4 hours so she was taken care of.)

      It is a living thing. YOU FREAKING TAKE CARE OF LIVING THINGS.

      1. So long and thanks for all the fish*

        Ha- when we first adopted our dog, who was a puppy and had been living in a foster home with a fenced-in yard, she didn’t understand that she was allowed to go while on a leash. So she went 24 hours without peeing in spite of being walked for 20 minutes every couple hours because she also would not pee on the carpet. Thankfully she figured that one out after a couple of days but it was really nerve-wracking at first!

    4. GRA*

      Also, if she’s yelling at Ricky after the fact, the dog isn’t going to know what he’s being yelled at about. He’s just going to hear the angry tone with know idea what he’s done. :(

    1. CarolynM*

      I know! Poor baby! :(

      My folks had to go out of town for a funeral so I am staying at their place to watch the dog. He is used to them being home (retired) so I race home on lunch to let him out and spend some time with him to make sure he is comfortable. I it would probably be fine if I didn’t stop in on lunch (when he was younger and my parents still worked, he would go about 8 hours until someone got home to let him out – and I am sure he is sleeping most of the time I am gone), but I love Jack and “probably” is not good enough for me!

      But Ricky is right there at the office! Taking him out to do his business every few hours will take mere minutes out of the day. And most dogs I have known, once trained, act completely humiliated if they have an accident inside – not fair to Ricky to make him stressed and upset because his owner is too self-centered to make sure his basic needs are met.

      1. Boo*

        Right? I feel so bad for him! And being told off when he can’t wait any more. I cannot fathom a person getting a pet, and then ignoring its needs even when it is RIGHT THERE. Ugh. Rage.

        Anyway, sympathies to OP – agree with Alison you’ve nothing to apologise for. Let your boss feel bad. She SHOULD feel bad if she’s not going to inconvenience herself to take proper care of her pet.

    2. Elbe*

      I feel so bad for him! Why do people even get dogs if they can’t muster a shred of concern for them?

      I would love it if someone in the office (though the LW is under no obligation to do so) could manage to slip in a comment or two that not being able to hold it for 10 hours is ACTUALLY COMPLETELY NORMAL, for both dogs and humans. It sounds like Christie has completely unreasonable expectations for poor Ricky.

  7. CupcakeCounter*

    Poor little dog :(
    Are there any co-workers/dog owners who can remind Christy that she actually has to take care of her pooch? Along the lines of “Hey I just noticed Ricky hasn’t been out in a while – I know just finished walking my dog and he really needed it. Don’t want any accidents in the office!” That way it is more about normal doggie care from other pet owners than about the you/her dynamic.

    1. 99 lead balloons*

      Ugh, yes so much this. Plus, making your dog hold it can lead to them getting UTI’s just like it can with humans. I’m hoping he has a doggie door to a fenced yard or something at home, but I wouldn’t be surprised if not. That poor baby, I would’ve bitten her head off by now for being a neglectful owner.

    2. Slow Gin Lizz*

      Yeah, and if the office is that dog-friendly, shouldn’t they have some rules about having dogs in the office like how often they should be taken for walks, that they should not pee in the office, that the dog owner should clean up any accidents in the office, etc? OP, could you ask whoever at your small company without HR is closest to HR about that sort of thing?

    3. Alas rainy today*

      I secund this excellent advice! I have known dogs that could “hold” easily up to 12 hours, but lost the ability when getting old/sick. This might explain (but not excuse) the owner’s attitude. A reality check with dog-owning-colleagues might be the fastest way to deal with this indecent situation of having an office carpet repeatedly urinated upon. This situation can rapidly lead to general removal of dog privileges in the whole office, which would be unfortunate for said dog-owning-colleagues. Come to think of it, a chat with cleaning service people would also carry a high risk of general removal of dog privileges.

  8. Knork*

    Her “very upset” at LW’s request is probably rooted in shame. She knows on some level that she’s being horrible to the poor little pup and she’s lashing out at her employee instead of herself.

    1. Adlib*

      I’ve found that people really get defensive when called out on their obvious misbehavior. She definitely knows it’s wrong.

      1. valentine*

        Either he has a doggie door at home or he pees there, too. Where’s the logic in repeating this behavior and feeling bad about it?

  9. Exhausted Trope*

    I cannot understand why the boss brings Ricky to work at all since she pays him little attention except to scold him for being a dog who does normal doggy things. Did I miss something?
    Leave the poor doggy home and enlist a walker to take him out during the day, for dog’s sake!

    1. fposte*

      Yes, that’s the part that puzzles me. If you’re just going to ignore him and not let him out, he could be at home for that.

      Though I may have figured it out: he does pee inside at home, because she doesn’t take him out there either, and she’s rather he did it at work.

      1. Jules the 3rd*

        Yes, I’ll bet he pees inside at home and that’s why Christie’s bringing him in to the office.

    2. a good mouse*

      I assume she doesn’t want to pay for a dog sitter or dog walker, so she just shoves the dog in LW’s office as a cheap substitute.

      I bet if LW walked the dog, Boss would be even more thrilled with her brilliant plan to foist her responsibilities on someone else.

    3. BuildMeUp*

      I wonder if the dog is having accidents at home or acting out in some other way due to stress/separation anxiety – barking, chewing on things, etc. :/

    4. Delphine*

      It’s free daycare. She doesn’t want to spend money or time caring for him the way he deserves.

  10. AnotherAlison*

    Perhaps Christie could hire a dog walker who can come to the office at least once a day.

    1. Kat in VA*

      Why do that when she can have LW do it for free? Bonus, she doesn’t even have to interact with the dog, take him out, OR clean up his messes!

      Sarcasm, obviously. I’m choking with annoyance at the neglect of this poor doggo and the owner who has the temerity to yell at him for being unable to hold it any longer. *fury*

    2. ThisColumnMakesMeGratefulForMyBoss*

      Or, ya know, leave him at home and hire a dog walker while she’s at work. She’s clearly not paying attention to him when he’s there.

  11. Cat person with fur rubbed the wrong way*

    I wanted to second the pee pads, just for the poor dog’s sake. They can probably be found pretty cheaply in dollar stores.
    But I would also take this to HR, if there is one.

    1. Jules the 3rd*

      Small company – no HR and Christie’s close friends with the next level boss.

  12. Rebecca*

    I’m angry on the dog’s behalf, as a former Dog Mom to 2 large dogs. Forcing that poor animal hold it for 10 hours then scolding it for finally getting relief is just awful. I vote for locking the boss in an office for 10 hours and then yelling at HER for finally peeing in the garbage can.

    You know what? If it’s inconvenient for you to properly care for your dog, find someone who will and get a pet rock. You don’t deserve to own a dog. Or any pet, for that matter.

    1. M&Ms fix lots of Problems*

      Agreed. If for whatever reason you aren’t able to give an animal the care it needs, please don’t get one. This is the reason I have fish only right now. We would love to have a cat, we just don’t have the time to properly care for one right now because of crazy schedules and work. The fish need food every two days, and a water change every two months. It’s much more minimal work, and I get to still have an animal in my house.

      1. Rebecca*

        I really miss my boys – one was a black lab/german shepherd mix and the other was a black lab, loved them to pieces! But I’m not in a place where I can properly care for a dog, I’m gone too long during the day, not in my own home, etc. I have cats – much less work and I have companionship :) I feel awful for that poor dog :( :( :(

  13. Murphy*

    I’m very much a dog person and your boss very much is in the wrong here. She needs to figure out an alternative such as hiring a sitter/walker for either her home or the office, or at the very least taking him out herself. I can’t imagine bringing my dogs somewhere and just ignoring them.

  14. Captain S*

    Christie is a terrible dog parent and terrible coworker and poor Ricky and poor you deserve way better.

  15. Alton Brown's Evil Twin*

    Oh boy. Worst boss of the year candidate.

    Your dog. Is peeing. In somebody’s office.

  16. No real name here*

    The boss is totally out of line, and I feel so sad for this dog. Alison’s advice covered it well, but one thing I might suggest is cleaning your floor with an enzyme-based cleaner (Nature’s Miracle is a well-known/popular one). Often after we clean up animal urine to our nose’s satisfaction, animals can still smell it. Animal smelling urine in a spot = hey, this is a great place to pee! It won’t solve the neglectful boss, but maybe Ricky will go pee in HER office instead, then she’ll be motivated to do something.

    1. Emi.*

      1) Enzyme clean your office.
      2a) Bring in a pad for Ricky to pee on.
      2b) Wearing gloves, fold the wet pad up and store it in a ziplock bag.
      3) When your boss is out, take out the still-wet pad and rub it on the floor next to her desk.

    2. Earthwalker*

      Or Skouts Honor spray. Not that LW should have to buy pet supplies, but if the boss doesn’t address the mess and smell, it’s a good solution. I second the pee pads too. If after LW addresses this with the boss, the boss doesn’t change anything, pee pads would be better than nothing to deal with the mess, and a kindness to give the dog a decent place to go. The poor thing must be fit to pop. Another possible approach would be to look up doggie daycares and suggest options. Some of my coworkers got a puppy they could hardly be parted from. They put him in a daycare then they ran a window to daycare’s webcam service and watched him all day.

    3. Jennifer Thneed*

      Nature’s Miracle used to be better than it is. Company changed hands; formula changed. My go-to now has a hilarilous name: Anti-Icky-Poo.

  17. Psyche*

    I’m not sure the OP should say “He’s welcome to stay with me if you can take him out for a walk a few times during the day.” It sounds like she does actually prefer when she is not saddled with he dog.

    1. Yvette*

      It should be “Or, “I don’t mind you bringing him in! I just don’t want him peeing in my office.”

    2. Clisby*

      Does the OP have a real office? If so, can’t she just shut the dog outside by closing her door? I’ve never worked in a dog-friendly office (not would I ever do that) so maybe I don’t understand the norms, but there shouldn’t be any expectation that employee X’s dog can just wander into employee Y’s office at will. It would be different in an open office plan, but since the OP specifically refers to having an office, I don’t see why the dog can’t be excluded.

      1. Becky*

        This is what I was bout to say. It is not OP’s job to watch this dog. If it is becoming a problem and owner is not responding don’t let the dog into your office at all.

      2. valentine*

        can’t she just shut the dog outside by closing her door?
        If Christie’s deal is she just doesn’t want to get up, this may suffice. (There is a letter where the boss opens the door and thinks her dog running roughshod is the height of hilarity.)

        OP, why is the job worth this? Surely there is a dog- and, most importantly, urine-free job to be had. Is Christie a good manager apart from this or is this just part of a massive hairball? I would hate a job where my manager expects me to nanny and sadfaces when I mildly object.

        1. Ricky’s BFF*

          Christie is otherwise a very good boss. She went up to bat for me for a raise and is very straightforward with feedback. She also gives clear instructions. She really believes in lifting other women in the workplace and I know that if I left she would give me a good reference. There are a few other problems (micromanaging, etc), but all in all a good boss who is a bad dog owner. My friend has suggested stealing the dog if/when I leave, but I feel this would be unprofessional. Unfortunately.

          1. Rose*

            Do you live in an area that has the “Wag” app? I would honest to god sign her up for an account with her email and have the first visit be on me and then say something along the lines of see how easy that was, now you know what to do (obviously kinder language all around).

          2. motherofdragons*

            I don’t know that she IS being such a great boss, though. Her behavior (neglecting her dog) is having a negative impact on your work and your overall sense of well-being at your job (because having a dog pee!! by your desk!! is not only stressful but also unsanitary), and when you rightfully brought it up to her, she guilted you for it. And continues to do so with her passive-aggressive comments. It’s great that she has strengths in other areas and I can understand you not wanting to leave or burn a bridge over this. Just want to offer an outsider’s perspective that this is bleeding into “not great boss” territory.

          3. Batgirl*

            OP you’re there and I’m not. If you say that not understanding the bladder of a living creature who depends on her is her only flaw as a boss/human, then OK. People can have super odd blind spots that are total anomalies.

            I just want to make really, really sure that you’ve considered this red flag because the stuff you’ve mentioned…paying you a market rate, giving feedback and viewing women as people is kinda basic? Like it’s just stuff you should just generally expect?

            Oh don’t get me wrong it’s not always common. In some fields it’s as rare as hen’s teeth. It’s understandable to value these traits when there’s nothing negative on the other side of the scale.

            But…there is. Lifting women up in the workplace is all well and good when it’s convenient, but when it’s not, female employees make great dog sitters.

            Going to bat for a raise is good, but she’s not really got her eye on the value of your position or has really any respect for your time, because…dogsitter.

            Not to mention you have a ringside seat of what happens when Ricky needs her, but she doesn’t need Ricky at that particular time. It goes from ‘I can’t be parted from my doggie’ to taking the piss, literally. But I’m sure Ricky would give her a glowing description too.

            Right now she needs you. She’s in ‘can’t be parted from my doggie mode’ and you’re experiencing the warm glow of being allowed perks you’re not sure are all that common.

            What about when you need her though? She’s not going to be benefitting from your work any more when she’s a referee and if she can’t take five minutes for a dependant she loves, who is literally peeing up the place; will she take anything like that time for you? Are you sure she is reliable?

            1. valentine*

              Christie has merged her work with her animal abuse, but you’re still holding them as separate, OP/Ricky’s BFF. What if you include quietly expecting you to dog-sit and twice leaving you with the urine in your assessment of her as a boss?

  18. Elizabeth West*

    If karma is a thing, Christie is going to end up in a job where she’s not allowed to use the bathroom for 10 hours a day.

    Yes yes yes please karma kthxbai. >:(

  19. Health Insurance Nerd*

    LW you are in no way in the wrong here, at all. You don’t have to have, or have had a dog at some point in your life to understand that what your boss is doing to this poor dog is just flat out wrong. Regular humans cannot go 8+ hours without peeing, how the heck can anyone expect a dog to do it?

    1. Lance*

      Of course it’s because they’re good showpieces, and how could they possibly have basic needs, like having to go out to pee?

      Now I’m starting to wonder if he gets any food/water/anything really while he’s there… I’m betting the answer is ‘no’.

      1. Health Insurance Nerd*

        Based on the boss’s seeming unwillingness to deal with Ricky AT ALL, I think that’s safe bet. Just, why, why does someone like that even have a dog in the first place? It makes me so mad!!!

        1. Ricky’s BFF*

          Ahh! No, Ricky has food and water at all times. I do want to clarify that Christie does obviously adore her dog, even if she’s not quite as attentive as might be warranted.

          1. Ricky’s BFF*

            Also for everyone asking, I have definitely said that 1) I’m fine watching him as long as he doesn’t pee by my desk and 2) I would absolutely do it myself. I think that because she knows it’s not my job, she’s reluctant to let me take on the responsibility, but I do like the dog and it makes me sad when I can see he needs to go out.

            1. Catleesi*

              Even though it’s definitely not your job and your responsibility, if you are willing to take him out I might say just go ahead and do it. Poor Ricky shouldn’t suffer because Christie is being neglectful. It’s definitely not the ideal solution but if it eases the suffering and anxiety he is probably having for trying to hold it in for so long it’s probably worth it. Phrase it as being you can see he needs to go out and you are willing to do that for him.

              1. SS Express*

                Agreed, if you’re happy to take the dog out and it won’t impact your work, just do it! I know lots of people who’d be very happy to take a dog-walking break in the middle of their work day, and it would certainly be a kind thing to do for the dog. (I wouldn’t do it for a million dollars, but it sounds like you feel pretty differently about dogs than I do.)

            2. valentine*

              Definitely don’t take on his toileting. You don’t want to be known as the unpaid dog-sitter. Would you do more or better work without Ricky there? Are you happier to tolerate the urine than to exclude him? (You could visit with him elsewhere.)

              1. Ra94*

                Employment-wise, it’s a bad idea for Rick’s BFF to start taking him out. You’re completely right that she’ll become the official unpaid dogsitter.
                But morally? Personally, I couldn’t stand by and watch that poor dog suffering and in actual pain every day. I think the imperative to help an animal in need takes precedence over the workplace situation.

                1. valentine*

                  the imperative to help an animal in need takes precedence over the workplace situation.
                  No, because there’s no end to it. Now you can’t get a new job because that’s abandoning Ricky, etc. Christie and Ricky are bottomless wells of need OP can’t and shouldn’t fulfill.

                2. EddieSherbert*

                  I would also just take him out.

                  I suggest drawing it to her attention first – let her know Ricky needs to go to the bathroom and ask if she is going to take him. If she isn’t… then take him out (if you’re comfortable doing that)!

                  But go through that process *every time* of asking her first.

                3. kneadmeseymour*

                  This is where I come down in this, too. The boss is putting the LW in a bad position here, and it’s totally unfair that this burden is falling to her as the kindest person in the scenario. But I don’t think I could watch a dog suffer for the sake of principle. If I were her, I’d buy a leash and start looking for another job.

              2. The Man, Becky Lynch*

                You’re being ridiculous. If RickysBff chooses to take on the “non-work-related-duty” as a task to handle, she’s allowed to do that without the shaming that’s starting to get tossed out right now. You’d rather see a dog neglected than take him out because “it’s not my dog, not my responsibility”, that’s despicable.

                1. Jules the 3rd*

                  Talk about shaming…

                  Christie is abusing her dog Ricky. There’s no ‘good’ response to abuse, either you’re abandoning the victim or enabling the abuse. The ‘despicable’ person is Christie, not anyone trying to deal with her.

                  Sure, if Ricky’s BFF is willing to take on walking Ricky, that’s great and generous. But it’s extra work for her, work that she didn’t request and won’t be compensated for. It is not ‘despicable’ to say, ‘I can’t do that work.’

            3. Elbe*

              That’s so nice of you! You should never be put in this position, but I’m glad that you’re offering to help poor Ricky.

              Prepare to get snide comments from Christie about how Ricky “love you more” than he loves her… because that’s what’s going to happen.

            4. BuildMeUp*

              So Ricky is showing visible signs of needing to go out?

              One thing you could try, if you haven’t already, is taking him to Christie’s office at that point, telling her Ricky needs to be walked so he can go to the bathroom, and then either waiting there until she gives you an answer or leaving Ricky there with her.

            5. Tisiphone*

              Oh good! Ricky has a friend in you. I’m thinking that the solution is right here. Take him out, and ask for the leash. If you do decide you want to become her dog walker, don’t do it on your break. Do it on the clock. She’s your boss and you’d be doing her a huge favor. If she’s reluctant to have you take this on, she should be doing it herself. I doubt the maintenance staff appreciate the frequent peeing. That smell lingers.

              1. Jennifer Juniper*

                What if she says, “Oh good. OP, you will now take Ricky out for walks on your breaks and lunch”?

          2. Anonymeece*

            If Christie really does adore her dog, I wonder if there’s a way to subtly bring up that dogs can’t be expected to hold their bladders for 10 hours? And that it’s actually dangerous for them?

            I’m not sure how you would go about it, but it might at least get her thinking that this isn’t just a “I don’t want dog urine in my office” (which is COMPLETELY VALID) but really cruel to her pup.

          3. schnauzerfan*

            So if that’s the case… and you didn’t mind having him as an office mate absent the weee, when he’s with you, you could take him to her every 4 hours or so and say “Ricky needs a walk now!” But I’m a sap for dogs and would love to have a canine companion at work again. No one should have someone else’s dog dumped on them if they aren’t on board.

            1. Mrs_helm*

              Yes, this. Just like when I’m hanging out with my sister and her kids and someone’s diaper needs changed. I just pass them off to her to do her thing. (I’ve done my share.) It doesn’t have to be accusational, just informative. “Hey, I think it’s time for the dog to go out.” + Passing dog off to her.

          4. TheFacelessOldWomanWhoSecretlyLivesinYour House*

            You can adore something but she doesn’t care for he dog. It’s like people who beat their children or ignore them all day, no food, no care. They may love their kids, they’re still abusers.

    2. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      Because people are vile and lump animals into the “things” category instead of “living creatures with needs”.

      This is how you get a majorly neglected malnourished and bad tempered animal, they don’t understand crap like”oh just tie a knot in it, Ricky! Humans can hold it, why can’t you?!”

      Cuz. He’s. A. Dog. *screams*

      1. TheFacelessOldWomanWhoSecretlyLivesinYour House*

        Most humans have to pee at least once every 10 hours.

  20. Urdnot Bakara*

    Part of the reason that, even as a dog lover, I don’t love dog-friendly workplaces. I used to work at a dog-friendly office, and most people were responsible with their pets and their pets were well-behaved, but my boss at the time and his dog were decidedly not. He would bring in his dog once a week and spend the entire time really frustrated with him because the dog had a lot of energy (not a puppy, but only 2 years old or so) and always wanted to play! When he had to take phone calls, he would put his dog in the hall outside his office and shut the door, and since I worked at the front desk, the dog would come bother me and I was always really busy. If he got up to go down the hall to the bathroom (shared with other office suites on our floor), the dog would sit at the door to the office suite and whine. One time, when he was trying to get his dog ready to go on a walk, the dog got loose in the hallway between the office suites and I had to catch him. The dog had multiple accidents in the office (not for lack of walks, though, his owner was pretty diligent about that) and also spilled his water bowl all over the place a few times.

    Bringing your dog to the office is a privilege, not a right, and I feel like, as a responsible pet owner, you need to be able to recognize when either you or your pet can’t handle it. If either of you can’t it’s not fair to your pet and it’s not fair to your other coworkers to put any of them in this situation.

    FWIW I feel the same way about people who bring non-service animals on planes, but that’s a whole other really stressful story.

    1. Urdnot Bakara*

      Sorry, started writing this comment before Alison put her note at the top. Feel free to remove.

      1. JuliaPancakes*

        @Urdnot Bakara, you’ve got a good point. Just because you CAN bring your dog to work does not mean that you SHOULD bring your dog to work. Very young dogs that need to be watched closely to stay out of trouble, young dogs or does with special needs that need a lot of care, dogs with certain behavioral issues, highly active dogs that need more attention – these are all dogs that just might not work well to in an office. I’ve often though that it would be nice to bring my dogs into work, but honestly, they would hate it! All these strangers are around, and I can’t play with them or cuddle, and they’d have to sit in a cubicle and be quiet!

        1. CommanderBanana*

          Yep. I have two dogs. One will sit on my lap and not make a peep for 7+ hours. The other one gets very nervous in new environments and is shy around strangers. I would never take her to work; she’d be way too stressed.

  21. Ruthie*

    It’s insane that she blaming you for not wanting the dog around. She doesn’t want the dog around! Which is why you’re the one dog-sitting and having your floor peed on. And “he should be able to hold it?!?” Ugh. He shouldn’t have to!!

    1. Countess Boochie Flagrante*


      She doesn’t want the dog around either!! Honestly I get the feeling that she’s doing this because she’d rather the dog peed in the office than in her home. Which… ew.

    2. Lucy*

      Why did I have to scroll so far for this?!

      However, after I said something she became VERY upset that I “don’t want her dog around”

      The irony and gumption of this remark, when the owner herself evidently doesn’t want her own dog around!!!

      If he’s a distracting dog, he shouldn’t be brought to even a dog-friendly office. A sleepy greyhound who’s already had a run and will snore gently under the desk for six hours without shifting position is the kind of dog she needs.

      I adore dogs, but their needs are very like toddlers’, so I don’t have a dog, and gritted my teeth through my children’s toddler years. Some people including me are simply not cut out for dog ownership.

      1. Batgirl*

        I think I’d deliberately misunderstand a remark as stupid as this and hear it as her saying: ‘I suppose you think *I* don’t want him around’ and respond “Oh boss, Ricky and I both know you want him around. It’s just a shame his bladder is as busy as your role.
        “Well, come to think of it peeing once in ten hours isn’t busy. But you are. You’re genuinely too busy. Shame really.”
        Then when boss corrects her and says
        “No I wasnt saying *I* I said *you* don’t like my dog” I’d feign more confusion:
        “You think I don’t have time for a dog?
        “I don’t. I don’t have a dog boss.”
        Just keep missing the point like it’s too ludicrous to process.

  22. Countess Boochie Flagrante*

    There are jobs in which dealing with occasional urine is a part of the job description.

    Accounting is not one of these jobs.

    This is ridiculous, both on an employment and on a pet-care level. She’s being both a bad pet owner and a bad boss by expecting you and poor Ricky to deal with this. How high is Christy in your organization? Do you have an HR department, or even a single HR person, that you can go to? I think when you whip out the “this dog has routinely peed by my desk and I am expected to clean it up” that should probably light a fire under their butts, because that’s so far outside the norm.

  23. KayEss*

    I’m dumbfounded that there’s more than one boss out there who does this, but clearly we didn’t work for the same one because when mine’s dog peed on someone’s office floor (he was a small, ill-trained dog she allowed to roam freely), she didn’t scold the dog — she’d just laugh.

    1. I usually lurk*

      I work in a dog-friendly office and there used to be a dog that left POOP around the office. I think the owner didn’t realize that running freely in such a large space is, um, stimulating to the bowels. Pets do seem to behave a little differently re: the bathroom than they do at home.

      Luckily I am a dog lover — at the time I had a very old dog with many diarrhea incidents (at home; I would NOT have brought her to the office!) so picking up a few little turds in a paper towel wasn’t a huge deal, but … I was not a big fan.

      That said, I do like petting the dogs. I rarely bring my own dog (not the senior dog, who has since passed. RIP Sassy, love you) because my husband works from home, but it was nice to have the option one day when he was traveling. But I keep him in my own office and take him for frequent walks. It takes work to, you know, CARE for a dog. Shame on this boss.

      I’m with the people who would take poor Ricky for a walk. But I recognize that that’s a lot to ask. I would be VERY annoyed.

      1. I usually lurk*

        This made it sound like I keep my husband in my office and take him for frequent walks. LOL.

  24. LaDeeDa*

    OMG poor dog!!! It is obvious he is holding it so long he just can’t anymore, if he wasn’t housebroken he would pee all day, all over the place. Someone needs to tell her that he needs to go out 3times a day… and I am such an animal lover that I would probably take over walking the dog because I wouldn’t be able to stand knowing he was uncomfortable or was going to get scolded for not being able to hold his pee for 12 hours! I am not suggesting LW do that– well, I wish they would… because I can’t stand the thought of the dog being so uncomfortable.

  25. Tiara Wearing Princess*

    “I’d love to bring Ricky in Thursday but I guess you’d prefer he stay home”

    No, I’d prefer he not pee next to my desk.

    1. TechWorker*

      Yea this is so bizarre!! There is a huge range of possible opinions that lie between ‘I never want you to bring your dog in’ and ‘I don’t want your dog to pee by my desk’. (Wait, is anyone not in the latter camp….?!)

  26. Tiara Wearing Princess*


    No, I’d prefer you take him out during the day so he doesn’t pee next to my desk

  27. Kate R*

    Why would you bring your dog to work if he’s “distracting” to you? And what’s the point of bringing him in if you’re not going to take care of him? That’s the whole benefit of bringing your dog to work. You don’t need to pay someone to feed and walk your dog while you’re at work! Gah, this whole thing just makes me so mad! Part of me thinks the scolding of Ricky is just for show and that Christie is hoping OP will pick up walking as part of her unofficial dog sitting duties. This is not acceptable.

    1. Lily Rowan*

      And how distracting could the dog be if a non-dog person is fine with him hanging out!

    2. The Green Lawintern*

      This way Ricky pees on the carpet by LW’s desk instead of peeing on the carpet at home.

    3. Jimming*

      Yeah. Why would you bring in your dog and then put him in someone else’s office? Isn’t the point to spend more time with your pup while you’re working? Boss needs to take responsibility for their dog at work.

    4. Alli525*

      EXACTLY what I came here to say. If the dog is too distracting for its owner, it’s DEFINITELY too distracting for her coworkers.

      LW, is Christie at the top of your org chart? This, to me, would be worthy of escalation to her boss.

    5. Boobookitty*

      I’m not a dog person, but I would be biting the bullet and walking the dog just so the poor animal would not be suffering.

  28. Wait a second...*

    Didn’t this also happen at Theranos? I read story where the CEO brought a dog and let it pee and poop all over the place and one of the employees had to clean it up. Is this some sort of bizarre boss behavior trait?

    1. KayEss*

      Based on my former boss who did this and hearing it happened at Theranos, I’m pretty comfortable saying it’s probably related to extreme narcissism.

      1. Kiki*

        People who like the idea of having a dog, but don’t feel the need to actually care for it.

    2. Drax*

      My former boss (who was also the owner) used to bring his dog in so doggo could escape his 4 children under the age of 6 haha
      He’d leave the dog to hang out with adults and have a snooze BUT the boss took the dog out every 2-3 hours without fail and was happy to let us walk the dog if we wanted. The boss would also arrange with someone directly if he was going to be gone all day and wouldn’t be able to walk the dog.

      The only expectation on us was to make sure we were working not just playing and if we noticed the water bowl was empty if we could please refill it.

      So I think it’s more of a bizarre power play than anything

    3. WellRed*

      Also, she “said” the dog was a wolf, because, I guess, a plain old dog wouldn’t suffice.

    4. Ada*

      Maybe so. I’ve gone through almost the exact same situation as OP. The carpet reeked from all the accidents. They eventually replaced it, but you can guess how long the new carpet remained unsoiled.

  29. Amber Rose*

    I’d be tempted to actually say something when she says he should be able to hold it, like, “I don’t blame him, I don’t think I could hold it for this long either!”

    It’s so hard on dogs to be cooped up in an office all day (we occasionally have dogs around). Does he even have any toys? Poor baby. This is why people should be required to take a test or something before they can have a dog. :(

    1. Luna*

      I am tempted to shove Christie’s face near Ricky’s pee and say, “No. No. That is not okay. That happens outside.” Go the whole hog of treating her like an animal that you are training.

  30. just my opinion*

    I know I will get people jumping down my throat for asking this… but is 8 hours really an unrealistic amount of time to expect a dog to hold it? Don’t lots of people with full time jobs leave their dogs home for the day?

      1. just my opinion*

        Yeah… even if this was the first time this happened, I guess it’s telling that her reaction to him peeing was not “I must have waited too long to take you out” and instead was scolding him. I guess I just wonder if we’d call it abuse if it was a person leaving their dog home for 8 hours without a hired walker.

        1. Shark Whisperer*

          We wouldn’t call it abuse without other information, but I don’t think keeping the dog in the office for 8 hours is abuse without any other information. This situation is abusive because the dogs needs clearly aren’t being met if he is a generally well behaved dog that is peeing on the floor after long stretches of time. If a friend told me that they were leaving their dog at home alone while they worked and the dog peed on the floor every time they worked late, I would definitely think they were being abusive if they didn’t hire a dog walker in that situation.

      2. AvonLady Barksdale*

        I think this should be pinned to the top of this post! She should know all aspects of her dog, peeing and beyond. My doggy is a master of holding it (he will avoid going out in the rain and has held it for a loooong time) but I also know that his walks aren’t just for peeing. He gets bored and needs a break. When I took him to the office, he’d had it at around 5pm and used to bug me to take him home. I also know when he’s hungry, when he’s thirsty, and when he wants a toy or something to chew on. I don’t think I’m weirdly attuned to him or anything, I’m just a dog owner who pays attention to her buddy and his needs.

    1. Episkey*

      Yes, but it depends. I have a Labrador, and we adopted her as an adult and my husband & I both worked full time. She was more than capable of holding it during the day when we were at work. But smaller breed dogs have smaller bladders so they aren’t able to hold it as long. My dog is ridiculous and would even hold it during thunderstorms/4th of July fireworks because she just didn’t want to go outside.

      1. WellRed*

        We always had smaller dogs and my experience was that they could hold it longer than the big ones. Not that it matters. Ultimately, know your dog.

        1. Episkey*

          Ha, well that has not been my experience! I used to board dogs in my home and those small dogs were the worst with peeing inside.

    2. LaDeeDa*

      8 hours is ok… but LW said “late hours” and mentioned “10 hours” — so I think we are all assuming it is 10+ hours. BUT, if he is having an accident every day around the same time, he has his time limit– and as a dog owner you go with your dog’s bladder size and ability to hold it.

      1. An Elephant Never Baguettes*

        And also – he may be able to hold it for 8-10 hours but I imagine he’s like our dog, who very clearly gets uncomfortable when she really has to go (we don’t make her hold it in, but she hates rain/wet paws and sometimes we literally have to push her outside when we can see she’s close to the limit). The dogs I know don’t go inside unless it’s really the only available option, at which point he’ll have been unhappy for a while.

        1. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

          Yep. My bigger dog is a lab/bloodhound mix who hates to have her paws wet, and at one point when she was 5 our neighborhood flooded and we literally couldn’t get out the back door or off the front porch without stepping into a foot and a half of water. I tried to get her to go on the porch, where I could clean it up, and she was like “NOPE.” So finally we just went to bed and I resigned myself to having to clean a puddle up in the morning — but she held it, and the water had receded in the morning enough that we could go outside. She was for sure dancing by then, but she held it for over 18 hours, poor thing, until she could find some grass to pee on.

          She’s 11 now, I don’t think she’d have quite that much endurance anymore, but I am not a miserably terrible pet owner, so we haven’t been in a position to find out.

          1. Anonymeece*

            I was in Houston when Harvey hit and we literally had to force our dog to go outside to a (relatively unflooded) area because she didn’t want to get her paws wet. Afterward, we had to take her to the vet for an unrelated reason and he told us that he had several cases of dogs with problems stemming from the fact that they also said “NOPE” and actually had damage from holding it for so long.

              1. An Elephant Never Baguettes*

                Ours won’t – we’ve tried but she refuses to take a single step in them. Like some cats who will just flop down and refuse to move when you put them on a leash.

                1. Lora*

                  Yep, mine are drama kings who do that Monty Python Ministry of Silly Walks thing when I put their socks and shoes on in the snow. Then I get pathetic puppy eyes until they figure out how to tear the socks and shoes off when I’m not looking and hide them under the couch.

                2. Clawfoot*

                  My partner calls that “melting into a puddle of nope,” which is exactly what our cat did in that situation.

                  Also, my dog refuses to have anything to do with boots too, which is very annoying to me, because in the winter we can’t walk in the neighbourhood due to the salt.

    3. Shark Whisperer*

      I have two dogs. I think 8 hours is a reasonable amount of time to expect most dogs to hold it, but 10 is pushing it. This dog clearly can’t hold it’s bladder that long. It sounds like the dog is able to hold it most of the day, it just reaches a breaking point. If you know your dog can’t hold it, not taking them out is cruel. My dogs sometime hold it for 8 hours, but I try to come home in the middle of the day to let them out so that they are more comfortable. One of my dogs likes to drink a lot of water and usually needs to go out more regularly. The other has gone 12 hours when it was cold and rainy and she flat out refused to go outside. Every dog is an individual, just like people. I could easily go for 8 hours without peeing, but one of my close friends would probably end up peeing in a trash can after 4 hours.

    4. fposte*

      It’s a long stretch of daytime, when the dog is active and presumably drinking water; remember also that bladder size correlates with size, so there’s not always a lot of storage available.

      That doesn’t mean dogs can never go 8 hours without peeing; lots of dogs do that at night, and some dogs could make it okay during the day (and it sounds like maybe this one manages it sometimes). But it’s not a good or fair expectation that a dog should be unable to pee for 8 active daylight hours, and it’s certainly not something that should be considered his fault if he can’t manage it.

    5. Lynca*

      Yeah it is wholly unrealistic.

      It doesn’t have anything to do with leaving them at home (some dogs can really care less about where you go, like mine) but that they need to go to the bathroom just like you or I do. And as an owner you have to find a way to deal with that. Puppy pads, dog walkers, etc.

    6. Future Homesteader*

      Eight is about the longest, especially if the dog is drinking any water in that time period. And that’s for a large dog – smaller dogs often can’t make it that long. Plus OP says that it’s actually 8-10 hours, which is definitely pushing it. For reference, I have a 45 pound dog who I know is capable of holding it 10 hours overnight sometimes (her choice, I swear) but will occasionally get us up at four am if she doesn’t pee when we take her out before bed or has had a lot of water late in the evening.

      1. JuliaPancakes*

        +1 to Future Homesteader’s comment. 8 hours is an absolute MAXIMUM. After 8 hours, it’s really time to hustle and get your dog outside to relieve himself. We used to be able to afford a daily dog walker, but recently we cannot, and sadly we have to leave the dogs alone for 8 hours a day. However, it really is only 8 hours, and they get a full walk in the morning, and I always go home on time and walk them immediately – if I couldn’t, I would call someone to get over there ASAP. We’ve never had any accidents in the house, but it’s not really about that – it’s just wrong to ignore a dog that long.

        I have known dogs who, like other commenters have mentioned, seem to occasionally hold it for 10 hours without any issue, but if that’s how your dog is, you’ll know it! And it’s not a daily demand you make on the dog, it just kind of happens occasionally and you go, huh, that’s weird.

      2. ThatGirl*

        My 15-lb dog has no trouble holding it for 9-10 hours (he sleeps most of the day) but if I ever got an inkling that he couldn’t anymore, we’d do something about it, not just let him pee all over the house.

      3. Pommette!*

        I’ll premise this question by saying that I am pup-less, not negligent.

        Given that most people need to be out 9-11 hours a day for work (depending on hours and commuting time)… how does that work? Do most dog-having people hire dog-sitters to stop by on week-days?

        1. JuliaPancakes*

          Of the dog owners I know who have to be gone that long, I know one who has set up a comfortable outdoor living area under a patio and leaves the dog outdoors all day (they’re in a warm CA city, so, not my fav solution, but the dog is happy and well-cared for), others who have dog doors to fenced back yards, a couple have daily dog walkers, another family has the kids come home after school to do the dog walk, and another couple does daily doggy day care. I had one former coworker who actually had no solution and she left a towel in the kitchen for the dog to pee on, then she would come complain about her dog’s “potty problem”, to which I would constantly but kindly urge her to hire a dog walker or go home at lunch. I felt so bad for that dog, but her owner was just beyond clueless.

    7. schnauzerfan*

      Depends on the dog. Young dogs, old dogs, small dogs often have less staying power, dogs that are really active may need to go out more than a dog that sleeps on the couch all day. Depends how long “all day” is. Is it really 8 hours with virtually no commuting time, or is it 10 or 12 hours by the time you figure in lunch and a commute. If your dog is at home you can have a confined area with a piddle pad if need be, or …

      We are lucky to have people home all day, dogs are seldom home alone for even an hour. We have six dogs right now… I have two, roomie has two and my elderly mom has two. The two old dogs need out every 2 hours or so. One of the others would need to be let out a lunch time if he were home alone. Two of the others would be fine with a nine hour day… most days. The last one would just as soon never go out. He’d actually rather have a piddle pad being a Goldie Locks kind of dog (it’s too hot, it’s too cold, there’s dew on the grass!!!)

    8. Dust Bunny*

      Can *you* go eight hours without peeing? Even if you can, would you want to?

      Yes, it’s too long. Most dogs are smaller than humans and cannot physically hold it that long. But even if they could, it’s uncomfortable. People with full-time jobs hire dog walkers.

      1. Marvel*

        I frequently go my full work day without peeing–didn’t realize this was as weird as it sounds like it is! But it’s worth keeping in mind that people are different, too, I think. Surely I can’t be the only one.

        (And yes, I drink plenty of water. Also coffee. I’m just very focused and I don’t like stopping what I’m doing to go to the bathroom…)

    9. Mystery Bookworm*

      Eight hours is unrealistic for many dogs, just as it’s unrealistic for most humans (unless we’re asleep, which is true for dogs as well, who can generally hold it overnight).

      In addition, many people – the majority, in my experience – DO make arragements for when their dogs are at home, be that a doggy door, so they can let themselves outside, or pee pads, or a dog walker, going home at lunch, or whatever. I actually don’t know any responsible dog owners who routinely leave their dogs alone (with no access to the outdoors) for 8 hours at a time.

    10. Observer*

      It’s actually not 8 hours – it’s 10. And 2 hours is a significant addition in this context.

      Also, if a dog is trained and is peeing inside, either you’ve held it beyond its capacity or there is a medical issue. Scolding instead of dealing with it and continuing to keep the dog from access to a place to pee once you KNOW that it’s too long gets into abusive territory. The animal simply has no choice here – not eve a “bad” choice. It has ZERO choice about where to be.

      1. fposte*

        Just for the mathematical hell of it, it’s a 25% increase. That’s a big increase.

    11. So long and thanks for all the fish*

      8 hours isn’t unreasonable for a lot of medium-to-large, adult dogs to hold it WHEN AT HOME ALONE. That distinction is important here because most dogs basically just sleep when their owners aren’t there, so it’s not dissimilar to holding it through the night. I leave my dog home alone while I’m at work almost every weekday, and when we get home she often doesn’t ask to go out for another 20-30 minutes- she’d rather play with us for a bit first. If we take her out before she asks she often spends a good 5-10 minutes just sniffing the ground before going.

      When a dog is awake because he’s around people, with access to food and water at all times that he takes advantage of it’s not reasonable to expect him to hold it for 8 hours.

  31. Precious Wentletrap*

    Has your employer considered adding more staff so as to allow everyone involved to go home -before- midnight

    1. Southern Yankee*

      This is really just an accounting specific thing. It doesn’t make sense to staff for a couple days of super high workload when the other 85 days of the quarter they only work 8 hour days. Some places probably don’t have the balance exactly right, but working til midnight at quarter-end does not automatically mean the the staffing level is wrong.

        1. On a pale mouse*

          A former coworker rather annoyed his accountant wife by suggesting (jokingly) that they must be doing it wrong to wind up with those late nights, because “you guys must have known the end of quarter was coming, I mean it’s right there on the calendar.”

        2. jolene*

          I’d be tempted to negotiate for having my most boring duty removed from me in return for walking Ricky.

    2. Observer*

      Besides what the others have said, it’s not really relevant. While a good employer should try to insure that employees are not working ridiculous hours on a regular basis, it is totally not reasonable to expect them to design their workdays around the needs of one of the dogs – especially since the owner of the dog actually DOES have some viable options.

  32. Asenath*

    Dog walkers. You can hire them in lots of places, and they can see that the poor dog gets outside. Or responsible relatives and neighbours, if you’re lucky enough to have them, can help care for a dog. And I echo what was said above about disinfecting the spot, because dogs (and cats) have much better noses than we do. Better yet, say to Christie “Your dog had an accident; could you please clean it up?” Somehow, though, I think that wouldn’t go down too well. I once knew of someone who let her dog pee on the displays in a grocery store, but she sure didn’t clean up the mess.

    And it baffles me that someone would bring a dog to work, and then insist someone else cares for it because she (the owner) finds it distracting!

    I don’t really see an easy solution to this.

    1. Justin*

      Yeah she’s basically using LW as an unpaid (well, for this) dog walker without saying to walk him. Poor Ricky (and LW!)

  33. Justin*

    so many issues.

    1. Poor Ricky. His home life can’t be great if she can’t be bothered to take him out when he’s not even where he should be.
    2. Poor you for having to deal with the dog you didn’t ask for, and a wretched boss and work environment.

    I don’t think your boss is going to listen. This is abuse, yes, but it’s also really bad managing.

    We just got a puppy in December. It requires me to spend a lot more time in the cold than I ever have when not exercising. It is not my favorite. But it’s for him. Shame on your boss for so many things.

  34. anita*

    Does the company lease office space? You could report this to the property management company anonymously and ask them to tell her that the report came from their cleaning service

      1. Ricky’s BFF*

        LMAO No, it’s not Theranos and Ricky is a small dog. I think he’s some kind of beagle mix, but I’m not sure.

        1. Arctic*

          I’m so relieved you won’t have to take the dog when your boss goes to prison, then.

          Beagles are a tough breed to have if you are just going to ignore it and not take it outside. Obviously that’s bad for **any** dog. But beagles and similar breeds especially like to run and have a lot of energy.

            1. TheFacelessOldWomanWhoSecretlyLivesinYour House*

              But they cover a lot of territory in that sprint. Plus go selectively deaf. (At least my Irish Wolfhounds did.)

  35. JuliaPancakes*

    Wow. Well, it sounds like Christie is hoping you will walk Ricky – and while I would do that if it were me because I am a massive dog lover and have an deep and abiding love for basically any dog around me (lol), I would also feel that it’s inappropriate and frankly, rude of a boss or any colleague to not at least ask. That, plus the passive-aggressive comments implying that it’s your fault she doesn’t want to bring Ricky back into the office – yuck.

    You say you don’t know dogs, but you are spot on in recognizing that this is very poor dog parenting. Dogs may not be children, but a lot of people (myself included) think of our dogs as children, and like children, they need at least some basic needs met even while parents are busy. Does she also not provide drinking water or meals while the dog is at work with her?

    Also, how are all the other pet parents in the office not irked? If I was lucky enough to work in a dog-friendly office, and I saw this behavior happening, I would be aghast. Even though she is the boss, she’s kind of endangering the deal for everyone.

    1. Person from the Resume*

      But the LW is working until after midnight. I wouldn’t want to add 10 or 15 minutes to an insanely long work day to take SOMEONE ELSE’s dog for a walk!

      Look LW, the solution is for you to put your foot down. It’s not great that this is your boss, but this is outrageous. And it’s too bad that you can’t have HR handle this. Perhaps you can tell your boss’s boss and let him/her deal with Christie. But you need to advocate for you to be treated fairly. It’s not your job to clean up other people’s dog pee. It’s not your job to watch other people’s dogs all. Take that stand.

  36. The Man, Becky Lynch*

    He’s peeing by you to say “duuuuude, I need to go outside but since I can’t…” Poor pup, what a horrible situation you’re both in. I’m enraged on so many levels.

    I would break all the standards we try to set and just demand she give me his leash so we can go outside a couple times a day. Should you have to? Absolutely not but is it ever going to change if you don’t? Most likely not. So I wouldn’t die on the hill myself but you certainly can just prepare yourself for her horrible behaviours to keep going, is there someone who can even reel her in even if you went that route? I’m assuming not and it’ll be a personal battle elevated…your work life will continue to be worse no matter what. How gross and unfair to be in this situation.

    1. Sally*

      I was just going to suggest the same thing. You shouldn’t have to walk her dog, but it would be a good reason to take 2 or 3 breaks during the day and get outside (of course, I don’t know anything about the outdoor surroundings of your office). And I have a dog, so I don’t know if a non-dog-person would be open to this, but just a suggestion…

      1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

        True true…I don’t have a dog but that’s because I can’t give a dog the attention they need. But I’m a dog enthusiast, I play with any dog I’m allowed to and dogsit for friends at times. So I’m a-ok with “this dog needs a walk, gimme a leash byeeee.”

      1. fposte*

        Honestly, I find it easier to forgive that woman’s massive medical fraud than that stupid vanity lie.

        1. Arctic*

          Seriously! At least she profits off of the first one so you can see a motive. Balto the Wolf is just nonsense.

  37. Dust Bunny*

    I really don’t know how to respond to this. Christie is either, yes, abusive, or absolutely as dumb as a box of hammers.

    Take. The. Dog. Out.

    They don’t need pee pads. There is no magical secret solution here. The solution is to WALK THE DOG.

    If Christie is too busy to do that, she needs to hire a dog walker.

    1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      I need more caffeine and probably a chocolate bar. I read “dumb as a box of hamsters” and was upset at the hamster hate. *face palm*

  38. boop the first*

    “I’d love to bring Ricky to work on Thursday but I guess you’d prefer he stays home…”

    “Yes, I would!”

    I thought people took their dogs out because it’s supposed to be fun or caring? If she’s just ignoring him at work, she might as well just ignore him at home.

  39. bikes*

    When I work at home, my dogs go out every 3 hours. They drink a lot of water (as they should, being young, active dogs). Dog walker comes every 5 hours and they still have accidents occasionally because some days you just can’t hold it.

    I wonder too, if your boss is not giving the dog enough water.

    Place a wee wee pad as an overlay near any place that the dogs has peed repeatedly. But also, can you offer to give the dog a relief walk every 5 hours or so? It would be a great kindness. Think of the pain you’d feel if you had to hold your bladder and then got yelled at by your favorite person on top of it. Poor pup.

    1. fposte*

      I wondered about the water too. If there have been only two accidents, he’s not supposed to hang in the owner’s office and the OP doesn’t have water for him (maybe she does, but I think it would have been mentioned), he’s not getting enough.

      1. AKchic*

        I am thinking that he has accidents elsewhere in the office and the scolding is just for LW’s benefit because LW brought it up to Christie.

  40. boredatwork*

    LW – I’m just going to add this – since you are supposed to be “babysitting” Ricky, it is not a far leap to say, your boss would expect you to be taking him outside for bathroom breaks.

    I would fully expect her to counter with a “the leash is right there”. Personally, I would enjoy the walks a few times a day, I find getting even a few mins of physical activity really helps those super late nights.

    use all the scripts Allison has given you, but if this isn’t the hill you want to die on, and you’re okay with it, offer to walk Ricky. You shouldn’t have to do this, but some bosses are weird and petty.

    Your boss is proving, yet again, why people think accountants lack basic social skills. I can say this because I’m an accountant, and I work with so many people who lack basic social skills.

    1. Southern Yankee*

      I was getting at a similar point below. I’m guessing the boss is the type that is “way too busy to take a few minutes away to walk Ricky, it’s QUARTER-END” and is either too self centered or too oblivious to think she’s making it OP’s problem. I’d probably err on the side of trying to enlist other people in the office to agree and talk to Christie rather than just start walking the dog myself, but without knowing more about the internal dynamics, it’s hard to know if that would be effective or make Christie more petty.

      1. boredatwork*

        If she’s anything like my “Christie” I’d just get her to okay walking the dog after dinner/lunch. I am completely projecting here, but any push back is going to be met with some serious “punishment”.

    2. Ricky’s BFF*

      The leash is in her office, and me walking Ricky isn’t an expectation. I’m kind of a doormat as a general rule, and if I’d ever thought it was expected of me I’d be doing it. The only reason I’m not is because I’d have to actively ask for the walking supplies and I don’t want to take Ricky out without asking (it seems like crossing a boundary, but maybe I’m wrong). I totally understand why you’d make that inference though :)

      1. boredatwork*

        I 100% agree about not walking Ricky without agreeing/talking before hand. This could be as simple as bringing Ricky to her office the next time he indicates he has to potty, and asking her to take him or volunteering to take him yourself.

        You can even do this non-verbally – concerned look – point at leash – gesture at ricky – wait for cue from her.

        Personally, I’d go ahead and get everything all on the table – offer to walk him – get standing permission to use the dog supplies, ect. But again, I would love to play with an adorable well behaved dog during busy season.

      2. Deb Morgan*

        If you want to take Ricky out (bless you for helping him), just go in and ask. If it were me, I’d bust in like the Kool-Aid Man and just grab the leash and poo bags. Not the most professional way to handle it, I know, but neither is letting the dog pee in the office. PLEASE UPDATE US!

        1. Ricky’s BFF*

          I will do so! I promise. This thread has given me so much perspective and good information about dogs (I genuinely had no idea this crossed the line to dangerous in that it could cause UTIs and other problems!!), so after next quarter end I’ll try to send an update about how it went.

          1. Jules the 3rd*

            Looking forward to the update!

            Asking for the leash / walking the dog isn’t crossing a boundary. Christie’s already crossed that line by having Ricky stay in your office. *IF* you’re willing to take on this workload:
            1) Ask Christie for a second leash and bags to keep in your office.
            2) Take him for walks after you have food (lunch pee / dinner pee & poo).
            3) Try to vary where you go – they like smelling variety
            4) Keep him well away from other dogs. You don’t know him well enough to know how he does with other dogs.

            Als0: 2 of 3 ads on this page are for animal related products. Coincidence? I suspect not.

          2. kneadmeseymour*

            I’m sorry you’ve been put in this position but I’m actually really relieved to hear that you’re going to help Ricky out! I’ve been worried about him. It’s occurred to me that possibly the reason he pees in your office is because he’s afraid of your boss.

  41. Southern Yankee*

    I agree, Christie’s behavior is appalling as a boss and dog owner. As a CPA, I’m curious about the quarter-end schedule. Does she always fail to take him out during the day, or just at quarter-end? I guess the accidents might only be an issue if Ricky has more hours to wait which only happens then? Quarter-end schedules with late nights, deadlines and stress can lead to a kind of freaked-out “I don’t have time” for whatever ten minute task. However, in my experience, I can tell you that 10 or 15 minutes away from your desk can do wonders for your mental acuity and ability to solve whatever problem. So, OP, don’t buy into any thought process that you have to be chained to your desk every second just because your boss is! Late nights at quarter-end are completely normal, but don’t limit your own “health” breaks (mental or physical!) because your boss is unreasonable.

    1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      Yes! 10-15 minutes away helps reset your eyes that are glazing over from swimming in numbers. I have had to train myself to stop and reset my mind/eyes every so often or I’ll never balance a damn thing or close out an account in the end

    2. boredatwork*

      Yep, personally, if I could walk an adorable, quiet dog, for 10-15 mins during close, I would absolutely do that. If I could get some capital with an extra crazy boss, that would also be great.

    3. Ricky’s BFF*

      Most common at quarter end, but we occasionally stay late for other reasons. I reread my letter and I should clarify that Ricky pees almost every time we stay late, but I have only cleaned it up twice because she didn’t have time. Otherwise she’s usually pretty good about cleaning it. I know I probably sound like I’m defending her too much, but I genuinely don’t think she’s an all-around terrible person; she’s just been confirmed to me as a terrible dog parent.

      1. Observer*

        You know, I’m not a dog lover by any means. (I don’t hate them or anything like that but even if I had a dog, I’d never think of myself as a dog “parent” I think.)

        But I *still* find this behavior appalling. And it absolutely DOES speak to character to some extent. Because how do you leave any creature that you are responsible for to suffer this way? How do you take on the responsibility of an animal without insuring that its most basic needs are being met? You say in another comment that she “adores” the dog. That just makes it even worse. I wouldn’t treat a stray this way – how do you do this to something you supposedly love!?

        And, the fact that YOU are being expected to deal with the poor animal, and that you have had to clean up after it TWICE already because she’s too busy says that, yes, there IS a pattern. She’s totally taking advantage of her power here.

        Is she a monster? I have no idea. But her behavior here is NOT that of a really good person.

        1. Ricky’s BFF*

          This is definitely an entirely fair take. I obviously don’t have an objective view of the situation because I work with her, so this is definitely a good reality check. Thanks!

          1. Cat Mama*

            Animals can feel embarrassment and shame. When my husband accidentally closed the door to the litter box room, my cat went #2 on the carpet. She then hid for the rest of the day, which was entirely out of character. Dogs are smart and know when they’re peeing somewhere that isn’t right.

          2. Quandong*

            I’m glad you wrote in both for your sake and Ricky’s, but it sounds like you may have needed outside perspective on what kind of a boss Christie actually is.

            She sounds…far from good.

  42. KR*

    This makes me so mad. When my dog has an accident I know it’s because I didn’t do something right. I didn’t let them out when I should have. Usually when he has an accident I am giving him treats and comforting him because he feel SO BAD about it. I guarantee her work isn’t so important that she can’t take literally a 10 minute break (maybe 5 depending on how large the building is) to let her dog out to pee every four to six hours.

    1. Friday*

      +1, but for one of my housecats who has a sensitive mental disposition. We sometimes get what we call “message poops” in the living room, and then it’s on us to deduce what we did wrong and what we can fix (Doesn’t like the new litter? Sure, let’s go back to the old stuff. Doesn’t like the new baby? Sorry kitty; here are some extra treats and please ignore the crying.)

  43. B*

    I get the feeling that why the dog boss is bringing her pet to the office is that the dog is peeing and pooping at her own house due to the long unattended hours . she is fed up with cleaning that nightmare up and has some how convinced herself that this won’t happen if she has the dog with her at work. I notice she is not cleaning up after the pet at work.

  44. softcastle mccormick*

    Oh, man. I’m a dog owner who enters my dog in competitive sports and shows, and even the most old school owners would never let their dog go 10 hours without a potty break. It’s cruel and unnecessary. Our dog has been in the crate for a maximum of 8 hours, and she’s a larger breed, and even then I didn’t love doing it. This is bad ownership, plain and simple. And if the dog is going indoors, it’s either not pottytrained correctly, or physically unable to hold it any longer. Neither is acceptable, ESPECIALLY not in the workplace. Pee pads could be a solution, but the better solution is for your manager to care for her pet.

  45. AKchic*

    “I guess you’d prefer he stayed home…”

    That’s your opening. Don’t be coy. Be frank. “I think you would too. You don’t have time to take him for potty breaks and act as if he’s a burden while he’s here. I don’t want a dog peeing in my office, nor do I want to hear a creature being scolded for not being able to hold their bladder for 10+ hours. It would be less stressful for everyone, Ricky included, if Ricky just stayed home, unless you are actually able to take him out for the potty breaks he needs.”

    Is the bigger boss even aware that Ricky has been relieving himself in the office? Is this a rented or owned building? If rented, is the landlord aware of the dog policy, and do they know that a dog has been peeing inside? I wouldn’t be surprised if Ricky has done this before you started working there, and that’s kind of his go-to spot.

    1. MuseumChick*

      I like this response! I would tweek it a bit, “I think you would too. You don’t have time to take him for potty breaks. (*This is where you play dumb about here leaving him home for 10+ hours when she is at work*)I’m sure he is happier too. Can you image going 1o hours without a bathroom break? I’m sure the poor boys bladder was killing him.”

  46. Linzava*

    You never scold a dog for accidents when they haven’t had the opportunity to go outside, ever. My one year old puppy occasionally poops in the house overnight, we pick it up and move on because he never does it during the day.

    Side story, I let my parents dog sit once while I was at a wedding when he was 6 months old, they didn’t take him out for 4 hours! I was upset because at that age especially, it is abuse.

    1. Natalie*

      It’s pointless to scold a dog for an accident no matter what the circumstances are. They aren’t going to connect it with eliminating, they just think you are unpredictable and scary around pee/poop. The most common outcome is the dog tries to eliminate in secret where you won’t see… like, say, in a different office.

  47. Nessun*

    Sometimes the coworkers I read about here are idiots, sometimes they’re mean, and sometimes they’re just clueless. This one though, I can’t even figure out. She owns a dog, and wants to take him to work, but she doesn’t want to see him during the day (puts him in LW’s office)? Then why bring him to work – just to avoid having to go home and walk him? She’s not walking him anyway! Or to avoid paying a petsitter to walk him? Surely that’s an expense a competent pet owner would fork out for during busy season…or y’know, ask a friend? Does she not understand how long a dog of his breed can typically go without peeing? Or does she know know? I have So. Many. Questions.

  48. Kelly*

    You shouldn’t have to walk her dog, but the dog doesn’t deserve to be in the middle of this BS. If you saw a kid who wasn’t getting his/her diaper changed would you continue trying to reason with a boss who has already proved herself to be irrational, or would you change the diaper yourself?

    1. LaDeeDa*

      LW posted above that the dog tells her when he needs to go out but she doesn’t have a leash — I suggested she ask for a leash. :/

          1. AvonLady Barksdale*

            You would let a living thing suffer in front of you, when there is an easily accessible solution to that suffering, simply to prove a point? You wouldn’t even do it once? That’s pretty cruel.

            Let’s make it less about bodily functions– if a co-worker brought in a toddler and left that toddler walking around the floor, which would annoy the crap out of me, and I saw the toddler grab a spoon and reach for an electrical outlet, I’d damn sure intervene. Even though watching the toddler is not my responsibility. The LW is in a rough situation, but if we’re talking about extreme solutions, I would put quitting above allowing a living thing to suffer if I could fix it.

            1. Observer*

              There is a difference between keeping the kid from getting electrocuted and changing a diaper. And, depending on the parent, I might not change the diaper. (Although, I would very seriously consider calling Child Protective Services in such a case.) Also, taking the dog for a walk is a lot more time than changing a diaper – and actually volunteering to walk the dog and getting the paraphernalia also sets up a dynamic that has a large set of problems.

              I think it’s really unfair to put the responsibility of caring for this dog on the OP.

              1. AvonLady Barksdale*

                I completely agree that it’s unfair, I just don’t agree that the dog (and the carpet!) should suffer. I think this is a very tough position, but I would take the dog out– and then I would heavy up on a job search.

              2. Kelly*

                It’s not fair, but it’s the situation she’s in. Either she walks the dog, or the dog suffers. I agree, walk the dog, and search for a new job if there really are no other options to talk to management,

    2. Kiki*

      One issue with this is that if something were to happen to the dog while on a walk (breaks off his leash, is attacked by another dog, etc), this boss also seems like the type who would take it out on the LW in an extremely negative way. That probably won’t happen, but it’s one reason I never offer to take care of pets for coworkers, even though I do love animals.

    3. MissDisplaced*

      No, I would most definitely not change a diaper on someone else’s kid.
      Next think you know, you’d be accused of being a pervert or something.

  49. WellRed*

    Off topic, but if the best thing about your job is that it pays well (yay!) and you “don’t hate it” (!) I hope you can eventually parlay those valuable accounting skills into a job without Christie.
    In the meantime, I have heard there are sprays that dogs don’t like. Get some and spray it around your desk.

  50. FuzzFrogs*

    ….So, what’s the point of bringing in your dog to work if he’s not even going to be within sight? This is insane. Neither owner nor dog are getting anything out of this, and having her deflect responsibility for taking care of the animal onto the animal himself (!!!!), and onto you, is just stupid and pigheaded.

  51. Fergus*

    If the dog kept peeing by my desk after I told her about it, I might go pee by my boss’s desk after a big glass of iced tea.

  52. Wing Leader*

    I’m going to answer this as a dog lover myself. Also, my husband takes our dog to work every day.

    Christie is being very irresponsible and a terrible pet owner/boss. First, no dog should not be kept inside with no bathroom breaks for 10 hours. If she’s going to have him there, she needs to be taking him out every couple of hours. That’s just how it is. I’m guessing Christie takes regular bathroom breaks, right? The dog needs it too.

    Also, the fact that she has you watch him because having him in her office “distracts” her? Just no. If he’s that distracting for her, then she doesn’t need to be bringing him. End of story.

    I also agree with others who say not to scold a dog who pees after holding it for hours. They can’t hold it forever, just like we can’t. That’s a failure on his owner’s part, not Ricky’s. Expecting him to hold it all day? Again, no.

    What would you do if your boss told you that you were now allowed any bathroom breaks all day and must hold it for 8 to 10 hours until you leave? You would think that’s absurd and maybe even abusive, right? Yeah.

    Christie sounds like the type that got the dog because he’s cute, but then does not actually want to responsibility of caring for him.

  53. oona*

    Isn’t one of the perks of having a dog-friendly office that you can take the dog out to pee regularly? That’s how I was able to potty-train my puppy so quickly. I did have to go outside ever 30 minutes for awhile, which was a pain, and I had to stay late every day for a few months. I had a happy, potty-trained dog within a few weeks though.

    My work has a rule that if anyone’s dog has more than one accident in a day or has them regularly they have to go home, and that applies to everyone. HR sent out a notice to everyone so no one was singled out. All the dog owners in my office are pretty reasonable though and were all proactive about supervising their pets. The HR memo was a good reminder though for those of us who had gotten a little lax to make extra certain we supervise our dogs, lest we lose the privilege altogether.

    1. AvonLady Barksdale*

      Yup, that’s one of the perks! I have always said I would not adopt a puppy, though I suppose if I could take the dog to work it would make training much easier. I had a boss who brought his puppy into the office and did walk him, but if the dog had one day without an accident, he considered the dog potty-trained. The amount of, “Why are you STILL doing this???” was ridiculous. Because he’s a PUPPY and it takes time and you can’t just leave him out here and expect him not to have an accident. This is the same boss who balked when I suggested he bring a bottle of Nature’s Miracle to leave in the office.

  54. TootsNYC*

    I’d have had to absolutely say, “How can you scold him?! I’d pee my pants too if I wasn’t allowed to go to the bathroom for hours.”

    1. TootsNYC*

      the least she could do is get the poor dog a piddle pad instead of expecting him to hold urine for hours!

      And I bet he does too pee on the carpet at home.

  55. Artemesia*

    Prediction: Walking the dog is about to become the LW’s new job assignment. She will need to be able to take this up a level if she wants to avoid that.

  56. Laurelma_01!*

    You buy a dog, or any animal you accept a commitment to walk, feed, vet visits, and obedience training, etc. You are the “animal parent.”

    Hold it for 8 or more hours (Yeah right!), that’s what pee pads are for if you’re leaving them while at work. The boss is just plain lazy and crazy. She’s right there. She should at least walk him every 3 – 4 hours at a minimum. I wonder if she’s hoping you’ll walk & poop scoop for her if she leaves him in your office. Doesn’t deserve a dog. She could ruin the dog friendly work environment for everyone once the business is forced to buy new carpet.

    Do yo have a boss above her? To me this is almost at the level of “filing a grievance?” How about other dog owners, can you go the passive aggressive route of stating what is happening and you’re afraid that what she’s doing could risk the benefit for everyone. Maybe the other dog parents fussing at her help.

    She doesn’t need an animal.

    1. So long and thanks for all the fish*

      8-ish hours is generally (though not always) okay for an adult dog left alone- it’s like sleeping at night. Anything much longer than that though would give me pause. And that’s the case only when left alone because they mostly sleep and don’t drink much if any water when alone, unlike when they’re in an office with activity and get thirsty and probably need to be taken out at least once every 2-3 hours.

      I absolutely think the boss thinks the OP will or should walk/poop scoop for her if she leaves her in the OP’s office, and wouldn’t be surprised if that’s how she believes it’s okay for the OP to clean up the mess. Obviously it’s her fault since the dog’s in her office- it’s her responsibility. What BS. If there’s a boss above hers, the OP should definitely take this to her. If she can’t have the dog in her office because it’s “distracting”, she shouldn’t take the dog to work.

  57. Old Admin*

    We are a dog friendly office, too, and even the most busy employees take their animals out for pee breaks, frequently in groups and talking shop while outside.
    A few of our dogs also have potty issues, and they wear doggy diapers while at the office – maybe suggest that to your boss? I know diapers are not supposed to replace negligence (which this is), but maybe the suggestion would help clarify the issue.

  58. Snarktini*

    Man that sucks. I’m having flashbacks to a former office, where the owner brought her German Shepherd, Athena, to the office daily. Athena was a rescue, and she had severe separation anxiety and couldn’t be left home alone. But Owner was was too busy to take care of Athena, so everyone else had to. Athena needed a lot of love — constant attention, frequent walks, barf cleaning (surprisingly common), plus she had to be leashed or penned in at all times because she attacked everything that came through the front door. It was a lot to manage.

    Originally Athena had a home in my department, next to Owner’s office. But none of us were willing to take on that work, especially barf duty. Eventually she was relocated downstairs to a different department and they LOVED her and played with her and were happy for an excuse to take walks so it worked out. Only because other people were willing to take care of Owner’s pet.

  59. AlwaysAnOutlier*

    “If karma is a thing, Christie is going to end up in a job where she’s not allowed to use the bathroom for 10 hours a day.”
    One of the best Alison pronouncements ever!

  60. TootsNYC*

    “I’ve had it for about a year…”

    Time to start looking. If someone says, “You haven’t even been there a year yet,” you say, “Well, I can tell now that I’m going to need to leave, so I thought I’d start scoping out the possibilities now instead of waiting.”

  61. ComeOn!*

    The president of our company used to bring his dog to work. It had an accident one time by customer service. He ran over with all the cleaning supplies and was on the floor cleaning up – and apologized. My dog used to come in sometimes and bump a couple of people for treats — which they then gave her (had treats in a drawer waiting for her). So that was on them!

    Love dogs in offices – but not everyone does and they require care to be good office mates.

  62. Penny*

    A dog repeatedly peeing in the same place isn’t so much about neglect (though that’s a factor here, clearly) as it is that the dog marked its territory and now that’s a safe space for it to pee inside. The only way to break this, is to make a barrier around the area of pee (or make that area a play spot where the dog will associate it with play and fun therefore won’t want to pee there but that takes WAY more dedication than you should have to put in). So get her to buy or build a barrier around your desk and slowly the dog will be trained not to go near that spot – however, once that barrier moves, it will likely happen again and again.

    1. Keyboard Cowboy*

      I mentioned this in my comment below but an enzymatic cleaner gets rid of the mark smell the dog is counting on to use the same spot.

      1. Penny*

        We’ve had zero luck with several brands of enzymatic cleaners, including what we used with a carpet shampooer. I think dogs figured out how to mark their spots in the wild where it didn’t easily go away and now our carpet is the same. :(

  63. MissDisplaced*

    Dogs need to be walked so they can pee and poo. Just because the dog is at the office does not mean the dog doesn’t need to be walked to pee and poo. This isn’t rocket science!

    If she can’t take reasonable breaks to give her dog walks, or find someone else to walk the dog, then it doesn’t belong at the office. Same goes with kids at the office by the way.

  64. Samwise*

    Just joining the chorus singing “Your boss is a terrible human being”. She’s abusive and does not deserve to have a dog; I’m enraged!

    Take Ricky to your boss’s office every time he indicates he needs to go. If her door is closed, knock really loudly and cheerfully call out, “Ricky needs to go out now!”

    I’d buy some pee pads, set one in front of her office door, set Ricky on it, and tell him to stay. Then go back to your office and shut the door if you have one. Frankly, I’d want to NOT put down a pee pad and let Ricky pee in front of her office, but that’s probably too much. Probably.

  65. Keyboard Cowboy*

    If you’re working in a company where dog bringing is permitted in policy, your company likely has an official dog policy which covers things like how to handle dog sitting and accidents. You may find you have more of a leg to stand on if you use this policy and point out how your boss isn’t following it.

    Also, if the dog pees in the same place each time, buy – or make your boss buy – enzymatic cleaner like Nature’s Miracle and clean the same spot. Dogs pee in part to mark, and once a spot smells like a pee spot, it’s a pee spot. Enzymatic cleaner gets rid of this marker scent so it’s less likely for the dog to think that’s THE pee spot.

  66. Destroyer of Worlds, Empress of Awesome*

    OP, I feel for you. I’m sorry you have to deal with this.

    I *really* feel sorry for Ricky.

    What does she do when she’s at home? Does he just pee all over her home?? Or does she actually, you know, walk him? Does she have a boss who would get upside down if she took 10 minutes every couple of hours to walk HER dog??

  67. Dog Poop*

    Just came to sympathize with OP. Our owners brings their dog in. Its a small dog so she can’t control their bodily functions as long. This dog likes to poop in my office doorway. If it wasn’t the owner I’d complain. But its the owner’s dog so I don’t say anything. On dog days I keep my office door shut and say I’m trying to concentrate on tasks….then I hear others scream when the poor dog visits their office instead. LMAO

  68. Miranda*

    So, one thing I can think of is bringing it up to the business owner. Yes, crappy dog owner is friends with her, but this doesn’t have to be accusing of crappy dog owner. You could say something like “Dog owner leaves her dog by me to avoid distraction, he’s a sweet dog so no biggie, but what should I do when dog has to go to avoid needing to clean puppy accidents.” Or frame it as worry that the owner of a dog in a dog friendly office doesn’t have 15 minutes away to make sure doggy can relieve itself properly like “Dog is great company, but occasionally Dog’s Owner is so busy, Dog can’t help but pee next to my desk when his owner can’t take him out, can we arrange for owner to get enough break time to give dog a potty break so we don’t damage the floors?” It may mean you get delegated as official dog walker while there, but at least you wouldn’t have to smell nor clean pee anymore. These are the polite ways I can think of, my very irritated, dog-loving self wants to call her out for being a crappy human who doesn’t deserve a dog, or find a way to ensure she doesn’t get any bathroom breaks unless and until the dog has gotten one.

  69. QuinFirefrorefiddle*

    I would encourage you to look up the animal cruelty laws in your area. They are often more thorough than you’d expect. But aside from that, Christie isn’t just hurting Ricky, she’s hurting her relationship with you. I’m not convinced she understands that.

    So, every day Ricky’s there, at the same time about halfway through the day, you pop into Christie’s office.
    -“Hi boss! Ricky sure misses you and he wants to go to the bathroom.”
    -“Oh, I can’t take him right now, I’ll do it later.”
    -“Well I’m not going to have him peeing by my desk again so I’ll take him out.”
    -“Oh I couldn’t ask you to do that. I’ll do it later.”
    -“Look Christie, you’re a good boss overall and I appreciate our strong relationship. But watching Ricky be treated like this is actively damaging my relationship with you, and I don’t want that to happen. So something is going to change. Now. Where’s the leash?”
    Once you have the leash, note the time, & again when you get back inside & return it, commenting you’ll let the big boss know you were out. Send an email to big boss, cc’d to Christie: “This email is to document I was out of the office from ___ to ___ on a favor to Christie.”

    Dollars to donuts the big boss will ask what’s going on after a few of these.

  70. NotADogPerson*

    I worked at a dog friendly ad agency and it drove me insane. People’s dogs defecated everywhere, ate food off of people’s desks, and there were child barriers everywhere because in the past someone’s dog had run into the street and was hit by a car (which is very sad, but to have child barriers in an agency of 100+ people is ridiculous). Everyone assumes that everyone loves your dog, and that’s not the case.

    1. TheFacelessOldWomanWhoSecretlyLivesinYour House*

      I don’t see a problem with the baby gates/barriers. I mean, most offices have doors.

  71. Xantar*

    Am I the only one who wants this boss to go into business with the constant car alarm lady in a previous letter? It seems like a pretty elegant solution.

    “Hey, on your way out to your car can you take Ricky?”

    (Note: this is actually a terrible idea. Don’t take my advice.)

    1. CastIrony*

      I like it, though! Hey, Pee-Scolder? Can you turn off my car alarm with me and take Ricky with you? I just feel better when he’s there to protect you!

  72. Shawn*

    “If karma is a thing, Christie is going to end up in a job where she’s not allowed to use the bathroom for 10 hours a day.”

    This ^^, right here.

  73. CastIrony*

    “If karma is a thing, Christie is going to end up in a job where she’s not allowed to use the bathroom for 10 hours a day.”

    That’s so justifiably mean (but necessary, because I agree)! Too bad I can’t manipulate time and make her switch places with my best friend, who was a cashier in a retail store where people never, ever were willing to take over the register so she could eat and use the restroom throughout her entire shift, even though they were assigned to do it.

  74. Wendy Ann*

    Is there anyone who could say something to Christie who she would listen to? Maybe a peer who is the same level as her?

    What finally got my boss to start paying attention to his chewing, demon furball was another supervisor shutting down his complaints about me not watching his dog. She told me after it happened, but basically she told him I was receptionist, not a dog sitter. The dog stopped coming in that week.

  75. Shay*

    Christie is telling you a LOT about herself: she lacks common sense, she is devoid of empathy, and she is self-centered. Please listen to what she is telling you and look out for yourself.
    “It is has been a long day for Ricky to be cooped up in the office. I think he’s ready to go out.”
    (your boss should not own a pet – she is a clueless person – I feel badly for Ricky)

  76. 4Monitors*

    This woman should be forced to drink gallons of water and tied to a chair until she wets herself.

    Everything about this is unreasonable. I mean…why is she bringing the dog in to work at all if having him there is so distracting that she expects one of her employees to keep the dog in their office all day?

  77. Dave H*

    Yeah, this is totally inconsiderate of the boss, not to mention borderline cruel toward the dog. Even though I’m not sure I’d like dogs in the workplace (to be fair, I haven’t experienced it yet, so I withhold judgement until I do), I’d feel worse for the dog more than anything. After all, it’s an animal who has to answer the call of nature just like any other, including us humans.

    If karma is a thing, Christie is going to end up in a job where she’s not allowed to use the bathroom for 10 hours a day.

    If I’m reading this right, that sounds like a call center job to me. Like one of those places where they infantilize their workers to a level somewhere around Kindergarten, with all the creature comforts of a gulag. Maybe an outbound boiler room with some Arnold Schwarzenegger-looking supervisor running around screaming “DO ZE DIALS!!! DO THEM NOW!!! 150 DIALS A DAY OR YOU GET TERMINATED!!! DO YOU WANT TO BE TERMINATED?!!”

    1. fposte*

      More like a poultry processing plant, where people legendarily use adult diapers to get through the day.

  78. GreenDoor*

    Dog lover or no….dog abuse or no….at the very least, your boss is perpetuating a health hazard. It’s no different than if a human bled on office equipment….or your cafeteria worker wasn’t wearing gloves….or someone vomited on the floor….or people leaving a mess on the office toilet seat. She shows no regard for the office being exposed to animal waste. It’s germs. It’s people having to work around the lingering smell. it’s just gross. And all she has to do to prevent it is step outside with the dog a few times a day. Even if she’s a workaholic, she could take the dog out on a long leash and sit and do paperwork or take her phone and read some emails while he walk around and does his business. It’s not hard!

  79. Introvert girl*

    I live close to my Office and use my lunchbreak to walk my dog every day. This person should not be a dog owner.

  80. MassMatt*

    I am still… flummoxed? By the fact that the boss brings her dog in to work, but finds him too distracting to have around. So her solution is to have him stay in someone else’s office? Ugh, the cognitive disconnect!

    OP get that you like the dog and so on but this is really weird behavior.

    1. Cuddles the Shark*

      THIS. Why are you bringing your dog in if it’s a distraction!? WTF! Why even have a dog in the first place if you’re just going to ignore its entire existence? But then again, there are plenty of people who have animals (or kids) who… really shouldn’t have them. Like, “okay, I checked off the a ‘own a pet’ box, now what do I do with it?” They get it without researching or thinking, realize it’s a lot of work, and then proceed to do a really, really crummy job of being a pet owner.

      I hate stories like this. They get me so upset and I feel so helpless. I’m not even a huge fan of dogs and I want to go rescue Ricky and take him home with me and give him lots of cuddles and love. :( I’m gonna go home and give my cats big hugs tonight.

  81. That One Person*

    This…this is not okay on so many levels. It’s up there with bringing children to the office: you cannot expect your coworkers to take care of them for you. Maybe watch them so they don’t staple their finger for the minute or few you’re in the bathroom – fine, but they can’t be getting them a snack, setting up activities, and making sure the tyke makes it to the bathroom on time (or changing diaper if they’re even younger). Its the same principle where if it’s for a few minutes then no problem, but the moment it becomes routine and prolonged then yes, there is a problem and the owner needs to address it. Trying to convince an animal to hold its bladder is just like trying to convince a toddler to hold it: that wee bladder will only hold so long (pun intended).

    Never mind pee pads though, I’d look into a cheap pet gate or even a child gate from a thrift store if the door can’t be closed to your office. Keep in mind it’s not about disliking Ricky or trying to be mean to him personally with a gate because the problem is the person responsible for him isn’t being responsible. Unless you’re the designated dog care person in your dog friendly office then it’s honestly unfair to expect you to shoulder the responsibilities and deal with the issues yourself. If Christie makes a stink then just smile and mention what a good boy you think he is, but you don’t have time to take care of him like he deserves when you’re trying to work – probably best to leave out any pointed eye contact at this as tempting as it’d be and stick to a friendly attitude.

  82. Mellow*

    Poor Ricky. Christie owes it to him to find dog parents who will actually care about him.

  83. Rebecca1*

    I would go scorched-earth on this. To me, this level of animal cruelty is a moral outrage on the level of sexual harassment or racial discrimination. Whether that means talking bluntly to the grand-boss, talking bluntly to Christie, reporting to the local animal services, or whatever depends on circumstances, but I would treat it very seriously.

    I might concurrently take Ricky out myself— even get my own leash and bags for him— in the same way that, if I saw a co-worker being regularly harassed, I would go out of my way to try to help keep the harassee from having to be alone with the harasser, while waiting for the report I make to work its way through the system.

    This level of cruelty makes me too angry to care about retaliation. That may or may not be a good thing.

  84. Noah*

    It seems to me that Chrissy is expecting OP to walk the dog. OP says as much: “it became obvious after I tried to shoo Ricky out of my office once or twice that part of my job was dogsitting Ricky when he’s in….”

    1. Luna*

      In which case, OP should probably tell Christie, “You know, given how Ricky obviously needs to go out and do his business, and you are too busy to do this yourself, I will gladly walk Ricky two or three times, so as to prevent any further mishaps. However, I must confess that this might mean I would be cutting into my work and might not have things ready for you when you require them…” If she wants OP to take time out of their day to walk the dog? Be prepared for the consequences of the OP not being there and doing their job for those times.

  85. LV426*

    Christie is lucky that she’s not my coworker because I’d be giving her an earful on the mistreatment of her dog and she’d be cleaning up the mess not me.

  86. Jennifer Juniper*

    I’m guessing Christie is doing this on purpose as a power play. Maybe she wants OP to walk Ricky for her.

  87. A future vet*

    Also just saying on the pet parenting – making your dog hold it for that long can predispose them to developing a UTI. Way less likely in male dogs, but still bladders are made to be emptied

  88. Flash Bristow*

    Poor dog probably feels awful for having to pee indoors, especially if he is told off for doing so. No wonder he is peeing at someone else’s desk.

    Surely she can put him on a lead and let him outside for 5 mins 3 times a day?

  89. Josie*

    As someone who goes to the bathroom at LEAST every two hours, your email made me SO angry. I would ask that monster when is the last time SH went 12+ hours without going to the bathroom? That dog should be taken away from her. She is ABSOLUTELY ABUSING/TORTURING THAT POOR DOG!

  90. another alison*

    I wonder if this could be reported to the building owner if you lease space? They likely wouldn’t be happy about animals regularly urinating in their property, and perhaps they could at least cite the terms of the lease which likely defines who is responsible for paying for any damage that occurs (probably the boss/company).

  91. Luna*

    “don’t want her dog around”
    Frankly, if her dog being around means the dog pees where you work, and you have to take time out of your work duties to clean up after them, then, yes, that sounds like a very good reason to not “want” the dog around. I am surprised she cannot figure this out herself.

  92. Anita Brayke*

    May I please add to Alison’s order for karma to intervene for this poor puppy? My heart is breaking.

  93. MCMonkeyBean*

    I had to go re-read the letter when Allison started talking about the OP’s office. I thought if the dog wasn’t in the boss’ office then it must be in like an open area and that’s where the OP sits. But the boss is having the dog spend all day *in someone else’s office*???? If having the dog there is too distracting for the boss, then don’t bring him in!!! How incredibly beyond rude to say “having this dog in my office is distracting so here it can stay in your office instead.” Truly appalling treatment of both dogs and humans.

  94. charo*

    You like the job and it pays well. So why don’t YOU offer to walk her dog a few times a day?

    You’re not too good to do this — it’s for the dog, not the boss, but you can ACT like it’s for the boss. She can only be grateful.

    Chastising your boss is never a good idea. She IS being neglectful and abusive to her pet but you can help.

    Help the dog and it’ll make you look better at the same time. This is how it works in the WORK world.

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